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Survey: Physicians Not Prepared for Transition to Value-Based Care

June 14, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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According to a survey of 139 hospital and health system executives by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), only 20 percent of physicians believe they are “very prepared” and have the necessary infrastructure to support quality and outcomes-based management. This reinforces the need for services that will help hospitals as they work with their physicians and physician practices to transition to the new models of care.

The survey, sponsored by Atlanta-based health IT vendor McKesson, queried the executives about physician affiliation strategies to assess current and future trends and the impact of changing care models on employment.

According to the survey, today’s hospitals consider physician relationships critical to their success in an accountable care environment—whether through direct employment or affiliation with independent community physicians.

The survey also confirmed that physician compensation will become increasingly value-driven. According to the findings, 77 percent of current physician agreements are based on productivity or volume. In the future, cost-of-care or efficiency-related incentives in physician agreements are expected to grow dramatically from 16 to 67 percent. Similarly, quality-related incentives are expected to increase from 65 to 85 percent.

“The survey demonstrates the shift from the ‘fill your beds’ mentality of the past based on fee-for-service,” Janice Wiitalia, director of research for the HFMA, who led the research project, said in a press release statement. “Everyone is starting to realize that the focus in a value-based environment is keeping patients healthy, not the volume of care provided.”

In addition, 72 percent of the survey respondents cited improved care coordination as the greatest short-term benefit of employing physicians. They expect to start to reap those benefits approximately two years after employment.

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