The LifePoint Health hospital chain strives to make clear to physicians before they join the organization that employment by a hospital isn’t for everyone.
Broadly, its physicians’ loss of autonomy that can lead to “post-integration trauma syndrome,” Daniel Sykes, a regional vice president of physician services at LifePoint, and Tim Godfrey, a senior director of practice management at the publicly traded company, said at the recent Medical Group Management Association Annual Conference in Nashville.
LifePoint rules that can be difficult for the physicians it employs include:
- Physicians must stop treating friends or relatives for free.
- Policy and schedules trump personal discretion.
- Base salary will diminish over time. Over the next few years that base salary will fall by about half and the doctor will be expected to earn the rest based on productivity measured by relative value units.
- Hospital-employed physicians must be more aware of economic conflicts of interest in dealings, especially regarding drug and medical-device makers and patient referrals.