Philosophy The Business of Healthcare

The “Why” in Hospital Employment

March 14, 2012

Why become a hospital-employed physician?

Scanning the news over the past week or so:

  • GM lays off over a thousand workers.
  • 900 bus drivers in Phoenix and Tempe are on strike.
  • And around half of newly graduated residents and over sixty percent of established physicians moving to new jobs are placed with hospitals or their controlled medical groups.

So what could those doctors accepting hospital employment be thinking? That hospital employment is safer than traditional private practice? That it’s easier? That it avoids the difficulties of independent practice?

But as the industry news also reports, hospital closures are negatively impacting the physician employment market.

And, as I’ve written before, hospital employment comes with an additional “benefit” — a benefit to the hospital: The restrictions of fair market value compensation levels, as defined for healthcare compliance purposes, are neither fair nor at market value. They will result in lower and lower compensation as more physicians come under its purview.

Hospital employment is no cure for the ills of physician practice. And if you think it is, then consider that the cure is worse than the disease.

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