Survey Finds Strong Ties Between Hospitals and Employed Physicians
Nearly 45% of hospitals report having a "very good" or "outstanding" relationship with employed physicians, and a majority of respondents agree that physician employment will increase in the coming years, a ModernHealthcare/Press Ganey survey released Monday found, Modern Physician reports.
The survey polled 193 organizations to determine the current state of such relationships. Of those organizations surveyed, 94% employed at least some physicians.
The survey noted that health reform, the economy and declining reimbursement are driving hospital-physician alignment.
Dennis Kaldenberg, Press Ganey's chief scientist, said the survey results showed that the relationship between hospital administrators and employed physicians "is generally pretty good."
The poll indicated that the percentage of physicians employed at hospitals will increase in coming years, with hospitals viewing the arrangement as adding value to the organization while not diminishing the value of independently practicing physicians.
According to the survey:
- 59% of respondents "strongly agreed" and 39% "agreed" that physician employment by hospitals will increase in the future;
- More than half of respondents predicted relationships between hospitals and employed physicians would be better one year from now; and
- Only 26% of respondents rated their relationships with independent physicians as "very good" or "outstanding," with 16% of participants rating relationships as "very poor" or "unacceptable."
The poll showed that employment positively changes physicians' outlooks on the larger organizations and leads to enhanced care quality. Nearly 60% of respondents "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that employed physicians believe they have a stake in the organization's success, with 80% at least agreeing that using physician treatment practice data improves patient outcomes.
In addition, the findings showed that only 19% of organizations had a physician CEO and that only 16% of hospitals had a co-ownership arrangement with physicians.
According to the poll, trust and compensation were the most often cited obstacles to hospital employment of physicians (Morrissey, Modern Physician, 11/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.