Healthcare experts are predicting the physician-hospital employed model will likely continue to be a top trend in the healthcare industry for the next several years.
“Healthcare organizations are eager to augment market share and leverage large numbers of employed physicians for payer rate negotiations. That, coupled with the growing rate of physician employment opportunities, springing from hospitals throughout the United States, whether it be by direct hire or through physician outsourcing, is resulting in more physicians being placed in hospitals and other health systems,” as reported in “HealthLeaders Media.”
“I don’t know if it will be the complete demise of the independent physician, but I think the economic environment and regulatory one is driving physicians to look for something else other than independent practice,” says Mark Nantz, CEO at Greenville, S.C.’s Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. “The reimbursement cuts hurt these [independent] physicians. Plus, there’s strength in numbers and these physicians are looking for some strength when it comes to their [payer] contracting — getting a negotiation position of influence when you’re a one-to-two-doctor practice is hard to do.”
According to Nantz, hospitals employing physicians is a key strategy in light of the ever-changing world of healthcare that we are already beginning to experience.
“You’ve got to have the patients, and therefore, you’ve got to have the physicians,” said Nantz. “And the physician-hospital employed model is the most likely relationship to encourage doctors to lead the charge toward [care] transformation — so we can all survive and thrive in a post-reform environment.”