Monday, April 22, 2013

Physicians: Other Alternatives to Hospital Employment

There has been significant attention lately to the increasing trend in hospital employment, however selling your practice to a hospital or becoming a hospital employee isn't the only option for successful hospital/ physician relationship.

There are several different options physicians have to integrate with hospitals while still maintaining their autonomy and more control over how they run their practice, while still allowing a successful relationship with the hospital.

Because of the physician shortage and demand for services, hospitals are often are willing to work out alternative arrangements to hospital employment.

There are many different options physicians have to integrate their practices with a hospital, however according to practice consultants there are 3 main categories- limited, moderate and full.

Limited: physicians provide specific clinical oversight duties 

Moderate: hospitals and physician groups work toward shared goals

Full: not full hospital employment, however the hospital maintains more control over the physician group

To determine the appropriate alignment for your specific group it is important to establish you or your group's core values.  Meet with the hospital to determine how the physician(s) and hospital hope to achieve from the alignment.  There will be many meetings involved, both with the hospital and the physicians as well as third parties, such as consultants and lawyers.

Both parties should determine the physician's group practice issues and common goals.

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

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Doctor-Owned Hospitals Prosper Under Health Law

Doctor-owned hospitals are earning many of the largest bonuses from the federal health law's new quality programs, even as the law halts their growth. The hospitals, many of which specialize in heart or orthopedic surgeries, have long drawn the ire of federal lawmakers and competitors. They say physicians often direct the best-insured and more lucrative cases to their own facilities, while leaving the most severely ill patients to others.

Some researchers say the doctors' financial interests encourage them to perform more tests and procedures, driving up the cost of care. The health law banned construction or expansion of these hospitals except in unusual circumstances.

But physician-owned hospitals have emerged as among the biggest winners under two programs in the health law. One rewards or penalizes hospitals based on how well they score on quality measures. The other penalizes hospitals where too many patients are readmitted after they leave. There are more than 260 hospitals owned by doctors scattered around 33 states. They are especially prevalent in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, California and Kansas.

Of 161 physician-owned hospitals eligible to participate in the health law's quality programs, 122 are getting extra money and 39 are losing funds. Medicare is paying the average physician-owned hospital bonuses of 0.21 percent more for each patient during the fiscal year that runs through September. Meanwhile, the average hospital not run by doctors is losing 0.30 percent per Medicare patient.

Read the full article in Physician's News, or click here:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Stronger Economy Stimulates Doctor Turnover

A recent Physician Retention Survey has determined many physicians are considering a new practice environment as a result of the strengthening economy.

There have been uncertainties in sustainability with the changing healthcare environment and how changes in healthcare reform and reimbursements may affect net compensation for physicians.  With positive media attention on a strengthening economy, many physicians are seeking out new, more stable employment opportunities.

According to the recent survey physician turnover has increased by the largest amount in 8 years.  If the economy continues to increase, the physician turnover is also expected to increase.  Many physicians will seek different employment opportunities or retire, as many were forced to delay retirement with a more tumultuous economy.

Turnover will come at a time when there is already a significant physician shortage.  

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