In corporate practice of medicine states, including California and Texas, hospitals are using foundations to bring in physicians-a model that is not employment per se but quite similar in practical terms, Dalton explains. There can be significant competition among hospitals for physicians, especially in primary care.
"If I were a physician in today's market, I would need to understand what is happening in my specialty as far as the trends for acquisition," Dalton says. "Then you have to look at your own practice. Do you have contracts or fee-for-service, and how are they going to be affected in the coming years? Do you have a potential for concierge service because you have a loyal following?"
Many physicians will find that staying in practice as a solo practitioner will be difficult because they will not have access to patients without being part of an organized group, Dalton says. Another motivation for joining a hospital group can be burdensome administrative costs in the practice. Or physicians may determine that joining some type of organization is inevitable even if they hold out for a while, so they might as well jump in now.
If your analysis suggests you should move toward employment within a hospital or other organization, one of the first thing to consider is the culture of the group you are considering.