No more independent physician? – By: Mary Ellen Pratt, FACHE, CEO
If you are like many patients, your physician is now working for a hospital. Patients across the country are seeing their doctors’ offices suddenly change hands. This can be unsettling, especially for those patients with chronic conditions who have had a trusting relationship with their doctor for many years. Why is this happening?
Nationwide, hospital systems are acquiring physician groups as they prepare for a system that reimburses based on quality of care, outcomes and cost control rather than the traditional fee-for-service system. The hope is that stronger physician alignment will leave healthcare systems better positioned to meet the demands to reduce waste and reward value instead of volume.
So how does this benefit the patient?
In many cases information technology is upgraded and records are converted to electronic health records that better integrate with the hospital medical record. Additional staff may be hired and buildings/offices are often updated, but the most noticeable benefit to patients is a more streamlined experience.
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