More Physicians To Leave Private Practice

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An increase in the number of physicians leaving private practice for hospital employment is anticipated as the health care landscape continues to undergo change and the need for hospital/physician alignment accelerates, indicate two recent market reports.

According to a report from Deloitte Consulting, hospitals comprised 45% of the medical setting for searches, up from 23% in 2006. Group practice search assignments comprised 29% of physician employment searches in 2009, down from 40% of total searches in 2006.Meanwhile, a study by the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development shows that healthcare executives believe the percentage of physicians on active staff at hospitals will rise from 10% currently to 25% by 2013. The ranks of independent physicians have been decreasing by 2% annually, a rate that is anticipated to accelerate to 5% each year by 2013.

imageThe reports attribute the changes to several factors, including a desire among physicians to shoulder fewer administrative responsibilities and to enjoy a more manageable workweek. Enhanced access in hospitals to leading-edge healthcare IT tools, facilities, and equipment; as well as a perceived need for stability in a business environment made uncertain by payment reforms and other developments; also ranked as catalysts here. So, too, did more aggressive approaches being taken by hospitals to beef up staffing levels in specialty areas, including radiology, oncology, and orthopedics.

Download a PDF of the Deloitte report.

— Julie Ritzer Ross