Ophthalmologist Turnover in the United States: Analysis of Workforce Changes from 2014 through 2021.
PURPOSE: Physician turnover is costly to health care systems and can affect patient experience due to discontinuity of care. This study aimed to assess the frequency of turnover by ophthalmologists and characteristics associated with turnover.
DESIGN: A retrospective cross-sectional study.
PARTICIPANTS: Actively practicing US ophthalmologists included in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Compare and Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File between 2014 and 2021.
METHODS: Using two separate publicly available Medicare data sets, we collated data for ophthalmologists associated with practices in each year between 2014 and 2021. We calculated the rate of turnover as (1) annually in each year window and (2) cumulatively as the total proportion of 2014 practices separated by 2021. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify physician and practice characteristics associated with cumulative turnover. Additionally, we evaluated changes in annual turnover surrounding the Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Ophthalmologist turnover, defined as a change of an ophthalmologist's National Provider Identifier practice affiliation from one year to the next.
RESULTS: Of 13,264 ophthalmologists affiliated with 3,306 unique practices, 34.1% separated from at least one practice between 2014 and 2021. Annual turnover ranged from 3.7% (2017) to 19.4% (2018), with an average rate of 9.4%. Factors associated with increased turnover included solo practice (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 9.59, p
CONCLUSIONS: One-third of US ophthalmologists separated from at least one practice from 2014-2021. Turnover patterns differ by various physician and practice characteristics, the knowledge of which may prove useful when developing strategies to optimize future workforce stability. Because reasons for turnover cannot be solely determined using administrative data, further investigation is warranted given the potential clinical and financial implications.
Patel PN, Patel PA, Sheth AH, Ahmed H, Begaj T, Parikh R. Ophthalmologist turnover in the United States: analysis of workforce changes from 2014 through 2021. Ophthalmology. 2023 May 8:S0161-6420(23)00308-1. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2023.05.003. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37164243.