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How Physician Employment Affects Hospitals, Patients



Doctors are being warmly welcomed by healthcare organizations eager to employ them as a means to augmenting market share. But what does this mean for patient care and reimbursement rates?



6 comments on "How Physician Employment Affects Hospitals, Patients"
DonS (12/8/2011 at 1:22 PM)

A complex issue and while some points are valid I would contend that care integration can be achieved without MD employment. The short term effect is to increase costs for patients as ancillary services previously billed by the MD on a CMS 1500 are now billed by the hospital on a UB92. The reimbursement difference is staggering. And consolidation of the providers wont keep down costs - if what I have heard about Sutter Health in CA is true. Lastly, if employed docs keep all the care within the system walls, is that really best for the patient? What system can be best in everything? I'd like the doc to make the best choice for me without having to worry about his employer.
Paul Sauer, MD (12/3/2011 at 7:45 AM)

Once the doctors are controlled by the hospitals and government, their compensation with fall. The doctors will have no leverage to negotiate salary. Will it become like England where doctors make $60,000 to $70,000 a year?
David Keller MD (12/2/2011 at 8:05 PM)

Missing from the article is the effect employment can have on physician productivity... I've seen clear evidence that employment makes physicians less productive and often less responsive to the needs of their patients. It's not all bad, but there are a number of negatives not discussed in the article.
Gus Geraci, MD (12/2/2011 at 10:21 AM)

Last few paragraphs need more discussion. The implications of a system employing the majority of the physicians in a region creates a monopoly with the potential for havoc on rates adversely affecting the community.
Healthcare Executive (12/2/2011 at 10:14 AM)

The aggregation of physicians by "not-for-profit" mega health care systems is being done to for the sole purpose of dominating a market and removing competition, both independent and other non-profits. Anyone who believes creating large oligopolies or monopolies will lower healthcare costs is dreaming (or didn't take economics in college). The first thing hospitals do after acquiring providers is take that volume and apply the higher hospital rates. Insurers and payers are helpless to prevent this because there are no other providers in the market. Prices go up and systems get larger. They are using their lobbying dollars to get rid of anti-trust laws for healthcare. We are witnessing the demise of competition in health care.
doug kane md (11/17/2011 at 11:19 PM)

The title of physician in all it's meaning cannot be spoken in the same breath as hospital employee. The two terms are mutually exclusive. The individual who chooses employment should be stripped of the physician title and assume the designation of "employed provider" instead. Just a thought....think about it doctors, and think hard.