IBJNews

Hospitals nearing 'saturation' on doc hiring

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indianapolis may be reaching a saturation point for hospitals employing physicians, according to the latest report from the Center for Studying Health System Change.

The not-for-profit group, based in Washington, D.C., published its latest insights on May 26, gleaned from 12 markets around the country, including Indianapolis. The report noted that that hospital employment of physicians is rising in all of those markets, but started sooner and has proceeded further in Indianapolis, Cleveland and Greenville, S.C.

“Hospitals see physician employment and tighter alignment not only as a way to capture more specialty and hospital referrals in a fee-for-service payment system, but also as central to building the clinical and financial integration needed to succeed under potential new payment models, such as accountable care organizations (ACOs), that involve risk-sharing and reward quality and efficiency,” center staff members wrote.

Over the last three years, all major hospitals in Indianapolis have been active hiring physicians. There was a mad dash for cardiologists, including St. Vincent Health’s 2010 purchase of The Care Group and Community Health Network’s acquisition of most of the cardiology practices working at its Indiana Heart Center hospital.

Community now employs more than 550 physicians. And both Indiana University Health and Franciscan Alliance noted in their 2010 financial reports a substantial increase in salary and benefit expenses due to physician hiring.

Many hospitals in the 12 markets have reported that physicians are initiating discussions about employment or close affiliation arrangements.

“Physicians in most markets—faced with financial pressures, difficulties recruiting younger physicians who often prefer employment in larger organizations, and growing uncertainty about the future under health reform—were more actively seeking the stability and security of employment in larger physician-owned or hospital-owned groups,” the report said.

Physicians who had developed their own surgery centers or imaging centers have been selling these facilities to hospitals or entering joint ventures with hospitals. A big reason is that physician-owned facilities are no longer allowed to grow under provisions in the health reform law, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In late 2009, the OrthoIndy physician practice sold a minority stake in its Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital to the St. Vincent Health hospital system.

“Hospitals were using an array of strategies to gain the loyalty of physicians choosing to remain independent, including providing physicians with administrative and health plan contracting support and offering financial and administrative support for electronic health records implementation,” the center reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
thisissue1-092914.jpg 092914

Subscribe to IBJ
ADVERTISEMENT