While a notable number of professionals practicing physician services continue to make that significant switch that takes them from private practices to larger hospitals and healthcare systems, industry stakeholders, policy makers, health systems, and even patient advocates must also prepare for significant changes.
“As physicians migrate from private practice to larger health systems, the new landscape will require healthcare IT, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and payers to revise their business models and offerings. At the same time, hospitals will need to determine how to retain and recruit the correct mix of physicians, especially in high-growth service lines, including cardiovascular care, orthopedics, cancer care and radiology,” according to several top sources for healthcare-related news.
As large hospitals, nationwide, continue to fill physician employment opportunities at a steady rate, the bulk of those physicians had previously operated out of private practices. This is a trend that began with the onset of the healthcare overhaul, and since then, has stuck.
“Health reform is challenging the entire system to deliver improved care through insight driven health,” said Kristin Ficery, senior executive, Accenture Health. “We see an increasing number of physicians leaving private practice to join hospital systems, which will force all stakeholders to revise and refine their business models, product offerings and service strategies.”
In a recent survey conducted by Accenture, numerous changes for physicians as well as many other players are expected to occur, as a direct result of doctors migrating in to hospital employee-roles.
Areas that will likely experience change include “hospitals enhancing expertise and boosting patient volumes and revenues in high-growth service lines; organizations serving diverse markets shifting sales force structure from national to regional; payers seeing greater negotiating leverage (which must be factored in to future business strategies, as physicians increasingly associate with larger groups and healthcare systems); and companies experiencing greater difficulties when trying to reach the physician market,” as reported by Accenture.