Clinical executives who oversee physicians often wrestle with what hospital-physician consolidation brings to the table. Insurers have responded to this consolidation by trying to manage care more effectively, through such techniques as bundled payments. (See our July cover story, “What Can Be Done to Counteract Growing Power of Providers?”) Which physicians are most interested in becoming hospital employees? Pricewaterhouse-Coopers asks that in a report, “Four Key Findings From Health Reform.”
“[Cardiologists] want hospital paychecks,” the report says. “Two thirds of [cardiologists] surveyed said they’re interested in being employed by hospitals. The cardiology specialty — which is among the most lucrative of all physician specialties — has experienced deep cuts in Medicare payments.”
Cardiologists aren’t the only physicians looking for greener pastures, as psychiatrists, surgeons, and pediatricians give thought to becoming hospital employees. “Overall, 56 percent of physicians surveyed … want to more closely align with a hospital in order to increase their income. Another 40 percent want to align to ensure a more consistent income stream.”
The data were collected through 28 interviews with influential people and executives representing health care providers, payers, and professional associations.
PwC also conducted an online survey of more than 1,000 physicians “balanced by age, gender, practice type, and specialty.”