Independent practice. Joint ventures/clinical co-management. Full employment. Hospitals and health systems are opening up a number of options to align with physicians. All of this can leave a busy physician to wonder: "Which is the right type of business relationship for me?"
Partnerships can create significant windfalls, not just for your business but also for the patients you serve. At a high level, it comes down to reviewing the pros and cons of each business model, notes John McHugh, a Washington, DC-based consultant with Navigant. Whether the hospitals in your region have an appetite for investment will determine if these options are available to you.
"And a physician needs to consider which option meets the goals for the group practice," says McHugh. "A physician nearing retirement might enter into an employment model as an exit strategy or a way to transition the business. A younger physician, on the other hand, might see employment as a way to focus on patient care without making the long-term investment into an independent practice."
McHugh put together this list of pros and cons for each alignment model:
Following the wave of alignment around hospital-based physicians, (e.g., radiology, anesthesiology), neurosurgery and cardiac surgery are areas that have sparked recent investment interest from hospitals and health systems, says McHugh.
"Many hospitals tend to be risk adverse so they need to figure out their level of investment risk and the desired ROI of each investment prior to moving forward," he says.
Rick Johnson is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.