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January 25, 2011

Hospital employment of physicians rising

Thought you might be interested in the article below that was recently published in the Dallas Business Journal. I again emphasize the need for strategic planning for all medical practices, no matter what the size. Is fleeing to hospital employment a real “long term” option for physicians? We’ll see.

Physicians are flocking to hospitals for employment and the migration will continue under the health care overhaul, industry experts said in a conference Wednesday in Dallas.

"The employment of physicians (by hospitals) is a health care megatrend of the future," said Joel Allison, CEO of Dallas-based Baylor Health Care System.

A survey of physicians indicates that 58 percent of all medical doctors are interested in more closely integrating with a hospital system, said Ben Isgur, director of Health Research Institute for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

"It's a different world than it was just two years ago," Isgur said. "There is a stampede of physicians aligning with hospitals."

Seventy-one percent of the physicians surveyed said they want to work for a hospital because they believe they'll have more job satisfaction. Fifty-seven percent said it would increase their annual revenue, 47 percent said the benefits and retirement package would be better, 41 percent said it would give them more work-life balance and 41 percent liked the idea that hospital employment would give them a more consistent income level, the PricewaterhouseCoopers survey found.

Sixty-eight percent of physicians said hospitals are wooing doctors to give the hospital more market power when negotiating with insurers and other payers. Sixty-six percent said hospitals want to decrease costs and increase efficiency, and 64 percent said hospitals are aligning with physicians to improve patient outcomes.

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