Friday, October 22, 2010

Private Practices: How to Survive and Thrive

With the changes in healthcare, IT, and government there has been a lot of press on the deterioration of the private practice; however in this environment as well as in the future private and small physician practices can still be very successful and fulfilling.

The key is for small practices to identify and acquire the tools needed to adapt and grow in changing times. Medscape Today has provided 3 actions small physician practices can take to help survive and thrive even though the rules of the game are about to change:

  • Hire an NP or PA
  • Adopt an EHR
  • Get a Real Website

Private Physician practices can still be rewarding, both financially and in career fulfillment. If practices are run correctly with good administration and technology they will always be a competitive contender in the medical marketplace.

Read the full article in Medscape Today, or click here:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hospitals Lure Doctors Away From Private Practice

According to MGMA, in 2009 approximately 50% of new physicians hired were hired by hospitals. Currently, 1 out of every 6 physicians work directly for a hospital, and there is a significant increase in the percentage of physicians choosing hospital based positions.

Hospitals are more prepared to entice physicians to hospital employment models because of their business strategies. Hospitals project hiring more physicians as employees guarantees a more steady stream of patient referrals and improves patient care through better coordination of services.

Physicians, particularly young physicians out of training, are preferring hospital based and hospital employed positions because of the added security and benefit packages along with the better quality of life hospital practices tend to offer, call shared amongst several other physicians as well as not worrying about the time and expenses associated with a private practice such as leases, hiring administrative and medical staff, and billing.

Hospitals are being more competitive in their offers with not only salary options but also RVU (production) based incentives allowing physicians to be in better control of their income based on how much they wish to work.

One concern experts have is employing more physicians could give hospitals more negotiating power with health insurers, thus driving up health insurance prices.

Read the full article in Physicians News Digest, or click here:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Physician Shortage Increasing

The physician shortage continues to increase, with certain states affected more significantly by the current and impending shortage. According to the American Medical Association, the nationwide physician shortage is expected to reach as many as 159,000 physicians by 2025. At least 22 states and 15 medical specialties had reported physician shortages as of June this year.

Virginia is one of the states dramatically affected by the current shortage, mainly because of an increase in demands for specialty services for the aging population as well as coverage for the uninsured with healthcare reform.

According to the Association of American Medical College, Virginia ranks 31st nationally in retaining graduates, 61% of residents go to other states after completing their training.

Nearly all US States are experiencing physician shortages, and with healthcare reform pending the shortages are predicted to increase dramatically. Rural areas in Virginia as well as all states are experiencing a harder time retaining and recruiting new physicians.

Read the full article in American Medical News, or click here:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Incentive Plans Playing Bigger Role in Physician Earnings

Many hospital employed opportunities as well as private practice salaries or shared earnings in partnerships are becoming more affected by incentive plans. RVU based incentives based on the individual physician's volume and revenue have played a part in physician compensation for awhile both in private practice opportunities and hospital employment positions, however now other incentive plans are also gaining popularity.

Particularly amongst hospital employment positions physicians are being compensated based on patient satisfaction, readmissions, clinical outcomes, and other performance metrics.

The Hay Group's "2010 Physician Compensation: Prevalence and Planning Report" found that 69% of the health care organizations surveyed used some kind of annual incentive plan in 2010 for employed physicians, which is up from 2008 which reported 49% of health care organizations based some physician compensation on annual incentives.

Physician's income, particularly in hospital employment positions, has become more of a base salary model with these types of incentives rewarded on top of base salaries.

Read the full article in American Medical News, or click here: