If you think that exclusive contracts are just for the hospital-based specialties, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, pathology, and radiology, you’re wrong. There is a growing trend of hospitals entering into exclusive contracts for a range of what have traditionally been office-based specialties.
Related to hospitals’ drive to create accountable care organizations and to, in general, create a hospital-centric system of healthcare delivery, hospitals are becoming more brazen about designating office practice physicians as the exclusive group with privileges within their specialty at the facility.
For example, hospitals are entering into exclusive contracts for specialties as diverse as cardiac surgery and gastroenterology.
On the one hand, this signals danger for groups of physicians who are not “blessed” with the hospital’s seal of approval. This underscores the need to utilize scenario tools such as The Scenario Survey Process™ as an active part of strategy development to prepare for your future.
On the other hand, it creates an opportunity for a new stream of income – hospital stipend support — for those groups that are awarded exclusive contracts. Those groups are urged to heed the experience developed over the three plus decades of traditional hospital-based exclusive contracting in designing and implementing their relationships with facilities.
After all, if hospitals get their way, all physicians will be hospital-based.
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Mark F. Weiss