Multiple sclerosis (MS) indirect patient-care time is often underreported and uncompensated. Data on time spent on indirect and direct care by MS providers is lacking.


A survey was designed to understand the practice patterns among MS providers in the United States, including time spent on direct and indirect patient care, as well as managing electronic medical record portal messages. The National MS Society and the American Academy of Neurology facilitated the distribution of the survey to MS providers.


Most providers spent at least 1 hour on new and at least 30 minutes on follow-up direct patient care. For indirect patient care, 77% of providers spent more than 1 hour and 57% spent more than 2 hours per day. While some providers have support staff to help with portal messages, many do not have protected time or compensation for portal messages.


Multiple sclerosis providers spent a higher-than-average time on direct and indirect patient care tasks, including portal messages, and most lack protected time or compensation for portal messages. These results highlight the potential impact of indirect patient care (notably portal messages) on provider workload and burnout. Better support, protected time and/or compensation for indirect patient care can help ease physician burden and decrease burnout.

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