I have just come back from a vacation in Florida, just in time to vote on the tentative OMA agreement with the government. While on vacation I had several long walks on the beach with a famous market researcher who had just completed some research on primary care physicians in the United States. The primary purpose of the market research was to expand the use of electronic medical records in primary care. One of the subcomponents of the study was to determine how much monthly fee to charge each patient who wants access to their EMR and thus obtain ability to schedule appointments on the web, obtain electronic prescription renewals, and access to all lab results. To a Canadian physician, the idea of determining fair market value for a service is often very foreign. Our own OHIP negotiations are conducted at a much higher level, and fairness among physicians seems more important than market value. However, the most interesting findings to me were the ancillary data obtained. The satisfaction levels of American primary care physicians are abysmal, and their net pay ($150,000/year) certainly does not reflect any kind of fair market value! This is particularly true when one considers the seven figure incomes of various procedural subspecialists in the same market.
I had no problem voting ‘Yes’ for the tentative agreement.