Healthcare Reform Pits Physicians Against Hospitals

Margaret Dick Tocknell, April 21, 2011

Physicians employed by hospitals want more say in hospital management, according to a survey by the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers US. More than 90% of the physicians surveyed said they should be more involved in executive leadership and management of the hospital, including serving on the board of directors and outlining performance improvement initiatives.

Hospital leaders, however, think most physicians aren't ready for that big step.

The survey results are published in From Courtship to Marriage Part II: How Physicians and Hospitals are Creating Sustainable Relationships, a report released on Wednesday by PwC's Health Research Institute.

The report is the second in a two-part series on physician-hospital alignment. The findings are important because shifts toward healthcare reform, such as the move toward accountable care organizations make it financially attractive for physicians and hospitals to integrate their services. PwC's HRI's research focuses on three areas important to hospital-physician integration: Shared governance, aligned compensation, and changing physician-practice patterns.

The findings indicate that physicians and hospitals have more to work on as they explore ways to capitalize on health reform opportunities.


Hospital employment means physicians may have to give up control of how they practice to comply with standards that emphasize overall system quality and efficiency goals. Many physicians willing to make that transition, in return, want a seat at the management table.

Margaret Dick Tocknell Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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