In May, the Maryland Psychiatric Society sent a survey to members by email and regular mail. A total of 175 responded, down from 196 last year but slightly better than 167 in 2017. Following are some highlights of the input we received.
Psychopharmacology remains the dominant member need for continuing medical education (85%) with other prevalent responses being Ketamine/Esketamine, Managing Difficult Patients, PTSD and Psychotherapy. [Note that the MPS has planned a Psychopharmacology Update on November 9.]
Less than 100 responded about whether they need in-person training for enrolling as a Medicaid Ordering, Referring, and Prescribing (ORP) provider. This is required by October 1 for prescribers who see Medicaid patients privately while Medicaid pays for medications [go here for details]. Of those, about 40% asked for a seminar on how to complete the enrollment. The MPS is following up with those who included their names.
This year’s survey included questions to indicate whether respondents agree that MPS and APA represent their interests as a psychiatrist and are a valued resource. Over half strongly agreed with these statements about the MPS whereas about a third strongly agreed regarding the APA. Overall agreement with the statements was 88% for MPS and 76% for APA. Overall 9% of respondents were neutral regarding the MPS vs. 15% for APA. Overall disagreement with the statements was 1.5% for MPS and 4.4% for APA. In the open response section, a few objected to the requirement that members belong to both organizations.
Since the MPS listserv has become a useful resource for many members, three questions were added to find out how it can be improved. Half of respondents are current participants, while 8% unsubscribed, 23% have no interest and 20% would like to join. About one in five who joined the listserv as a resident or fellow said it influenced them to remain a member following training. Two in five said they would have continued anyway and two in five were unsure. Of those who read messages but don’t post to the listserv, many said it is due to a lack of time or having nothing to add to the conversation. Four said they feared being judged when posting on sensitive topics and three said a few people dominate the discussion.
A general question asking respondents for their main concerns as a practicing psychiatrist generated 118 wide-ranging answers. Some of the more prevalent topics are payment, insurance and parity, some relate to under-served patients and others involve scope of practice. Administrative hassles like prior authorization, denials, EHRs, MOC and medication shortages are also frequent, as are litigiousness, safety, autonomy and values. The responses are best read in their entirety since they give a good composite picture of current concerns. Click here and go to page 18 for details.
Another general question about how the MPS can better serve you resulted in 81 responses, some of which were you’re doing well. Suggestions involve legislation, insurance, provider networks, prior authorization, public psychiatry, scope of practice, MOC, networking events and CME. Again, it is best to read the various responses, which aren’t easily summarized. Click here and go to page 22.
Overall satisfaction with the MPS was 86%, about the same as last year, and a higher percentage indicated they are neutral (14%) rather than unsatisfied. Seventy-six percent of respondents indicated that influencing how psychiatry is practiced in Maryland is most important in terms of what they value about being a member. Over half also indicated that MPS News and legislative reports are most important; almost half said having a place to call with questions is one of the most important. The Maryland Psychiatrist, the annual directory, CME, the listserv and networking events were rated somewhat important. Nearly half of respondents said the online Find a Psychiatrist is not important to them as a member, while 60% or more said patient referrals and connecting via social media are not important.
Over half of respondents practice in private settings, most of whom are in solo practice (n=77). Of respondents working in the public sector, about 30% practice in clinics and 20% practice in state hospitals. Over two-thirds of those who responded have been practicing more than 20 years and over three quarters have their primary place of practice in Central Maryland.
MPS leadership and MPS committees will carefully review the survey results over the coming weeks to help inform their decisions about changes, new initiatives and MPS offerings. Congratulations to survey participants Drs. Diane Gutterman, Lisa Hovermale and George James, who were selected randomly to win a $100 credit each toward MPS dues or an MPS event. For more details, view the complete results.