The FINANCIAL — NEW YORK; June 13,2011 – U.S. physicians continue to sell their private practices and seek employment with healthcare systems, according to a new survey from Accenture.
As physicians migrate from private practice to larger health systems, the new landscape will require healthcare IT, medical devicemanufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and payers to revise their business models and offerings. At the same time, hospitals will need to determine how to retain and recruit the correct mix of physicians, especially in high-growth service lines, including cardiovascular care, orthopedics, cancer care and radiology. Patients will increasingly move to large health systems, as opposed to the current trend of visiting doctors in private, small practice settings.
According to Accenture, the rate of independent physicians being employed by health systems will grow by an annual five percent over three years. By 2013, less than one-third of physicians are expected to remain truly independent.
“Health reform is challenging the entire system to deliver improved care through insight driven health,” said Kristin Ficery, senior executive, Accenture Health. “We see an increasing number of physicians leaving private practice to join hospital systems, which will force all stakeholders to revise and refine their business models, product offerings and service strategies.”
According to the survey, physicians are increasingly attracted to the benefits offered by hospital-based employment opportunities. These benefits include:
- Relief from administrative responsibilities;
- Greater access to leading-edge healthcare IT tools, facilities and equipment;
- A more manageable work week; and
- Stability in a business environment made uncertain by developments such as payment reforms.