The outsourcing trend may not stop with the ED and hospitalists. Increasingly, anesthesiology is being added to the mix, although this trend is fairly new. Some think it’s inevitable that specialists will be added to the menu, and that it might eventually be possible for hospitals to essentially outsource all their inpatient physician work, effectively meaning that, other than administrative positions (e.g., CMO), hospitals would directly employ very few physicians, but still be able to hold them accountable to established standards.Critically, the fact that the physicians are not employed by the hospital is invisible to the patient.
Such an evolution would help hospitals avoid some of their most critical and sensitive strategic physician alignment problems, including the often difficult task of holding physicians accountable to established standards and measures, and the difficulty of devising a system of compensation.
“I would encourage everyone certainly to put this out to competitive bid,” Suver says. “We had about four companies interested in the contract.”