Physician burnout costs $4.6B annually, study finds

Direct expenses tied to physician burnout cost the U.S. more than $4 billion annually, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

For the study, researchers used mathematical modeling to analyze the direct costs of physician turnover or reduced clinical hours linked to burnout. Researchers estimated model inputs using recent data from other studies and industry reports.

They found the U.S. spends an average of $4.6 billion on costs linked to physician burnout annually. For healthcare organizations, burnout was linked to $7,600 in costs per employed physician every year.

"Together with previous evidence that burnout can effectively be reduced with moderate levels of investment, these findings suggest substantial economic value for policy and organizational expenditures for burnout reduction programs for physicians," researchers concluded.

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