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physician employment

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Attention boards: Four big things to remember


This article in Hospitals & Health Networks looks at four areas that hospital boards must pay more attention t0 these days:

1. “Physician relationships and practice patterns: Hospitals increasingly are accountable for physician behavior as a result of the stiffening of Stark anti-kickback rules, widening provisions of the False Claims Act, exposure resulting from the Physician Sunshine Act and Medicare Physician Database, provisions in the Affordable Care Act that heighten scrutiny for physician business dealings and the trend toward physician employment.”

2. “Partnerships and affiliations: Every hospital regardless of size is attempting to reduce its operating costs and evaluating its future. These efforts invariably involve consideration of formal relationships with other hospitals and formal relationships with private insurers, outsourcing partners, technology suppliers and others. Hospital boards must know the details of each deal, how debt covenants and operations are impacted, and where there’s financial or reputational risk if the marriage hits the rocks.”

3.  “Performance risk: Historically, bread and butter operational functions like purchasing, business office operations and clinical documentation have been a key focus for hospital compliance efforts and rightly so. They’re complicated and costly, and where ethical or legal lines are crossed, whistleblowers are increasingly watchful. Adding complexity, the shifting of incentives from fee for service to value-based payments, is ripe for performance risk….”

4. “Reputation risks: ...How a {hospital’s} reputation is measured and its accessibility to outside parties including lenders and the community is increasingly more sophisticated. Achieving recognition on credible report cards, like those offered by U.S. News & World Report, Truven, Leapfrog Group and others is an important start, because their methodologies are credible. But access to data about a hospital’s clinical, operational and financial performance is expanding exponentially through social media and proprietary vendors. …”


How to keep physician employment affordable


This Hospitals & Health Networks article guides hospital executives through the steps they need to take to keep physician employment affordable.

The steps include identifying a target amount per physician, installing process-improvement initiatives and providing performance incentives.

It notes that ”physician compensation rates are increasing while reimbursement rates are declining. These trends threaten the financial solvency of healthcare organizations and, as a result, hospital boards and leadership teams are tending more critically to the financial performance of their physician enterprises.”



Integrating hospital-staff benefits to control costs


This Webcast by a panel of experts looks at ways that hospital  labor costs can be better controlled and operations streamlined while raising employeees’ satisfaction — which may seem an oxymoron at first glance.

Among the topics:

  • ”How integrated benefits can streamline mergers and acquisitions.
  • ”The impact of program administration with one vendor.
  • ”The employer’s new role in employee education and … well-being.
  • ”The impact of increased physician employment on hospitals.
  • ”Moving from a defined-benefit structure to a defined- contribution structure.”


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