More than 90 percent of doctors in a recent nationwide survey by London-based PwC US believe that physicians employed by hospitals should be more involved in executive leadership and management of the hospital, including serving on the board of directors and outlining performance improvement initiatives, according to “From courtship to marriage Part II,” a new report released today by PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI).
Healthcare is moving toward a new approach in payment that rewards doctors and hospitals for quality results over volume, and the shift is driving the two closer together. Hospitals must rely on physicians to help them achieve health reform goals, and in return, physicians want not just financial security but also a say in hospital leadership. The prospects for a long-term union between hospitals and physicians will depend on their ability to meet in the middle, says PwC.
PwC’s report is based on a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 physicians, supplemented by in-depth interviews with hospital executives, about their expectations as partners sharing power, resources and outcomes in a post-health reform world. HRI’s research focused on what PwC says are three secrets for a successful marriage of hospitals and physicians: Shared governance, aligned compensation and changing physician-practice patterns.
Hospital employment means physicians may have to give up control of how they practice to comply with standards that emphasize overall system quality and efficiency goals. The trade-off, in their minds, comes with certain caveats.