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A Louisville physician installed as president of national doctor group

Louisville Head and Neck Surgeon and AMA President Dr. Bruce Scott
Louisville Public Media
Louisville Head and Neck Surgeon and AMA President Dr. Bruce Scott.

A Kentucky physician is the new leader of the country’s largest and most influential physician organization.

Otolaryngologist Dr. Bruce Scott of Louisville takes on the role of the American Medical Association president.

Regarding costs, Dr. Scott said a physician is often the ‘face of the bill.’ But the ear, nose, and throat specialist noted doctor pay is less than 10% percent of the health care spend. He added health care delivery, such as through pharmaceutical benefit managers, is a cost driver.

“That are providing very little service but are taking money out of many of the prescriptions that are written every single day at the pharmacy. I think we should also look at the consolidation that has occurred and occurring more and more every day in health care,” said Scott.

Scott said doctors also deal with Medicare reimbursement cuts and increasing administrative duties. That, he noted, is contributing to a major burnout problem among doctors including those in already access-challenged rural Kentucky.

Scott said the organization is taking steps to remedy the problem of doctors exiting the health care profession early.

“We’re going right at the heart of the issue of physician burnout by helping physicians with mental health issues and well being and well health issues and trying to reduce some of the stigma that has existed for years around physicians seeking mental health,” said Scott.

Scott said it’s getting tougher to take care of patients. He said the healthcare system seems to be getting in the way of providing care. Asked if a single-payer type healthcare system would be better, Dr. Scott noted there’s doctor frustration with federal payers as well as private payers. He thinks that would only increase under a government-run system.

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