The latest trend in physician services seems like it’s hospitals hiring doctors as their employees or owning the practice jointly with the physician. Although this focus on hospital as employer with the doctor as employee is on the rise, this statistic does not tell the whole story, and it certainly does not mean the end of the solo physician practice.
In fact, quite the opposite is true in regards to physician practices headed by a single doctor. A statement recently issued by American Medical Association (AMA) president, Ardis Dee Hoven, based on a recent study attempted to clarify the sometimes confusing distinction between doctors who work directly for hospitals and doctors who own their practices outright while also working closely with a hospital. Study participants were asked to choose whether they work for practices that are wholly owned by hospitals, owned by non-profit organizations, owned by physicians in the practice or owned jointly by the physician and the hospital.
In spite of the trend that seems to point toward an increase in hospital ownership of physician practices, this AMA study found that 60 percent of physician practices were owned wholly by physicians while over half of physicians were self-employed. This study, for the first time, asked those physicians who stated that they worked for hospitals to specify the stake the hospital had in their practices.
The study also found that 45.5 percent of the physicians practiced in a single specialty while 18 percent stated that they had a solo practice. Though the number of physicians who were in a solo practice as well as those who were the owners of their own practices, decreased according to information extracted from data obtained in 2007-2008, less than 30 percent of them were either employed directly by a hospital or employed in practices that were partially owned by hospitals.
Additionally, the study noted that medical billing options need to streamline the physician practice process in order to reduce costs for physicians while allowing for greater patient interaction and satisfaction. State of the art technology that is built with the unique needs of solo physicians in mind rather than a stripped down model of a hospital based system is needed to deliver the desired results. Cloud based computing allows access to information from virtually anywhere, and at any time.
Last Updated on February 24, 2014