Unquestionably, employing physicians is good for a hospital’s market share and the physician’s financial stability, and it also can have an impact on patient care. “Employment has the likelihood of eliminating duplicate and often not needed service offerings within a healthcare community,” says Nantz.
Moreover, he explains the physicians now have access to a common computer system that can help to defragment a patient’s care and prevent redundant tests. “If we keep the patient within the system, everyone has access to the same information and [patients] can pass easily through the system. We reduce duplicate tests and make sure they receive more efficient and thorough care,” Nantz says.
Essentially, the employed physician refers within network, thus improving the continuity of care and the hospital’s efficiency by preventing the unnecessary duplication of services. Fewer unnecessary tests also results in a decrease in cost for the payers and patients.
“We believe that by having a large hospital system and medical group that you not only have market leverage, but that gives us the ability to work with the payers to identify where we can partner to reduce costs and the number of initiatives,” says Greg Rusnak, COO at GHS. “We are aligning our group to focus on outcomes, cost of care, and patient satisfaction. You can’t do that without physicians being integrated and to the degree you do that it can have an effect on market share.”
Payer leverage is what most hospitals are striving for, says Nantz, and payers are looking for a strong comprehensive physician network to give beneficiaries access to the doctors they want.