June 5, 2013

Complaints by Employed Physicians

Complaints by Employed Physicians

With physicians being employed more often by hospitals and health care systems, the issue of employee satisfaction is an increasing troubling issue. Many physicians who transfer from private practice to an employment situation find that the patient and practice satisfaction levels decrease. The institution may see what is perceived as a decrease in physician productivity. Working through these issues in advance of the transaction, and especially the expectation levels, can go a significant distance in making the transaction better financially as well as professionally. [we can assist in the planning process to help smooth out the inevitable bumps]

The transition of physicians from private practice to hospital employment can be quite rocky. The biggest challenge, say consultants and physician leaders, is the loss of autonomy that many physicians experience when they become employed. This loss of autonomy shows up in several different aspects of practice.

The toughest transition is that the provider no longer has the final say in decisions affecting the logistics of practice. Linda Brodsky, MD, a pediatric otorhinolaryngologist who counsels female doctors about their careers, says that gender discrimination plays a role in some of these situations. But regardless of whether a physician is male or female, she notes, “physicians are being increasingly targeted when they get in the way” of hospitals’ agendas.

She cites a cardiologist who sold her practice to a hospital and got a 3-year employment contract. Before hiring her, the hospital promised it would support her plan to upgrade the quality of its cardiac program. But it turned out that all the institution wanted was her patients. Because she declined to drop her demands for quality improvement, the hospital let her go at the end of her contract term.

Other complaints by employed docs include not being able to make personnel decisions; having less authority over billing and coding; and being forced to use a particular technology or equipment. (Medscape)

Source: Physician News Digest

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