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ACO Recruiting Turns to Non-Physicians

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, November 1, 2012

"The biggest challenge is that hospitals and physician groups are going to have to become better at behavioral interviewing," he adds.  Years ago, hospitals may have hired an orthopedic surgeon, for instance, who was likely to deliver $2 million in patient revenues, despite a "prickly" demeanor, he says.  Nowadays, that demeanor may be costly in terms of patient attitudes and overall future reimbursements. That's changing. A hospital or physician group may think twice before hiring such a doctor, and instead opt for a "team" physician whose outward credentials may not have been as stellar, Stone says.

For physicians, the anticipation in earnings in an ACO environment is a mixed bag. Regarding physician income levels, executives overwhelmingly predict that there won't be one directional trend across the board in physician income as a result of ACOs: 62% say some physicians will earn more, while others will earn less as providers for an ACO.

Only about 10% of respondents feel that physicians will earn more money under an ACO model, while about 20% say less money. Still, base compensation and incentive models will change to be more quality-focused, according to Stone.

About 5% of the respondents indicate they anticipate no change in the type of physicians they are recruiting.

That statistic also has Stone raising his eyebrows. "I think they have either already looked for the type of physicians they are going to have in the future," says Stone, "or they are completely naïve related to the way healthcare is going to be delivered in the new model."


Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.
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