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How to get the most out of hospital-employed physicians


This Hospitals & Health Networks piece discusses how hospitals can get the most out of their physicians — particularly the ones younger than those from the now rapidly retiring Baby Boomer cohort.

The piece was instigated by the heavy cost to hospitals of their physician-employment surge. The article notes:

“The immediate result of the physician employment surge was escalating financial losses. With hospitals’ top-line revenues and volumes mostly flat, physician compensation (including call pay and directorships) became many hospitals’ fastest-growing expense. A recent report by Moody’s Investors Service found that physician employment was damaging hospital operating margins and, thus, their creditworthiness.”

So the article discusses such things as:

Operational improvements that can be achieved.

The challenge of bundled services.

The need to reduce needless variation in physician’s work.

Establishing a systems approach.

The authors conclude:

“Ultimately, hospital and health system management will need to take a more holistic view of the role of their physician practices to fully realize their value. It only makes sense to operate physician practices if they generate a quantifiable overall contribution margin for the health system.”

To read the entire article, please hit this link.

Report forecasts hospitals’ transformation to 2020


This Frost & Sullivan report entitled “The Transformation of the American Hospital: 2015-2020,” is well worth reading.

Tanvir Jaikishen, a senior analyst for the firm, observed about the report’s conclusions:

“The ACA, reduction in Medicare funding and reimbursements shifting from fee-for-service to value-based payments have impacted the way hospitals compete in the U.S. health system. Additionally, declining inpatient volumes and lowering reimbursements are fueling a wave of strategic acquisitions and partnerships aimed at increasing the patient base and improving negotiating power with insurers.”

The transformation, of course, includes more and more hospital and hospital systems focusing their acquisitions on non-acute-care holdings, such as retail clinics and physician practices.

The report also predicted that  more hospitals and  systems will create their own in-house insurance plans to help expand their patient base. But there are many difficult complications involved in entering the insurance business.

To read the report, please hit this link.


Big trouble seems to loom with ICD-10


Medscape reports that almost 25 percent  of  physicians’ offices said in a survey they won’t be ready when the new, more complex International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition (ICD-10),  arrives Oct. 1.  Another 25 percent said  that they weren’t  sure if  they’d  be ready.

“The latest Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) survey also found that only about 20 percent of physician practices have started or completed external testing. That percentage is up from the 10 percent of physicians who said they had done external testing in results released in March.”

Robert Tennant, vice chairman of the WEDI group and government affairs senior policy adviser for the Medical Group Management Association,  told Medscape that the survey indicates  big trouble.

“The physician side of the provider community — they’re really struggling,” Tennant said. “I think the government has not done a very good job about explaining the return on investment for physicians; it’s not clear at all why we’re doing this.”

“Also, many are at the mercy of their software vendors,” he said, noting  that if the software isn’t up to date, physicians can’t submit the codes or test the systems.

“What that tells us in the industry is that we’re looking at potentially a situation, where the light switch is flipped and things don’t work,” he said.




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