Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Independent or Employed?

That is the question most doctors who have remained independent grapple with today. In today's environment only about 20% of US doctors are independent but that number is expected to drop even further. The reasons are financial and managerial: not enough of the former and too much of the latter. As a result, hospital employment is becoming an attractive option for many. But is it?
Hospitals face many of the huge economic burdens. Even though they get reimbursed at higher rates, they have enormous administrative costs. Even as hospital systems merge to increase market share, so do their costs. All this in a shrinking patient base that has pit health system against health system. Now some systems want to not just be the provider of health services, they aim to be the payers as well. This is an interesting turn of events. As provider your goal is to maximize payments but as payer it is to minimize payments. Who will be squeezed in such a model? Let's see?
The administrators? No way. They control the switch.
The nurses? Yes. They will need to work more for the same and less.
The doctors? Bingo.
Once you sign with a hospital, your practice is no longer yours. It is then only a matter of time before you get administratored, ie f@cked!
Hold out. Just hold out.
The IU
The last remaining independent urologist in my area.