Blog | Physician Relationships

Analysis: Will more hospital-employed doctors seek independence?

Blog | Physician Relationships

Analysis: Will more hospital-employed doctors seek independence?

  • "Over a six-month span, two factions of North Carolina-based doctors left their respective health systems to form or join independent physician groups,” according to a Modern Healthcare article.
  • Although it’s too early to call it a trend, it is as good a time as any to remember that physician employment isn’t the same as alignment.

“Over a six-month span, two factions of North Carolina-based doctors left their respective health systems to form or join independent physician groups,” according to a Modern Healthcare article.

“About 90 Atrium Health doctors then employed by Atrium sued the system in April 2018 for having allegedly cut their pay and including “draconian” noncompete conditions in a new contract, ultimately spawning Tryon Medical Partners in September,” the article continued. “In March, 42 family doctors, obstetricians and gynecologists who were employed by Novant Health left to join Holston Medical Group, an independent practice.”

Takeaway

Is it a trend or not? It’s way too early to call this a trend. However, it is as good a time as any to remember that physician employment isn’t the same as alignment.

Culturally, organizations need to respect physician input into decision-making and provide meaningful leadership roles for physicians from employed groups, so they have a stake in organizational governance. This can help improve alignment with employed practices. Similar strategies can be used to improve alignment with community physicians as well. These were just two of the findings of HFMA’s Value Project Report on Strategies for Physician Engagement and Alignment

About the Authors

Chad Mulvany, FHFMA

is director, healthcare finance policy, strategy and development, HFMA’s Washington, D.C., office, and a member of HFMA’s Virginia-Washington, D.C., Chapter.

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