ACOs challenge physician recruiting even more

Accountable care isn't only changing payment and care models; it's changing how hospitals recruit physicians and other providers.

According to last week's report from physician search firm based in Dallas, the Medicus Firm, 35 percent of the 244 hospital and healthcare executives surveyed said physician recruiting will be "more difficult" with accountable care organizations.

Although half (48 percent) of survey respondents predicted the number of provider recruits would increase, employers will be seeking different traits in physician candidates, particularly team-oriented skills, interest in quality-based compensation and more technological experience.

Half (50 percent) of the survey respondents thought that the ACO model would have no effect on physician staffing, while 15 percent thought it would be easier, according to the Medicus data.

However, the majority (82.9 percent) believed their organization will need to boost nonphysician providers by hiring physician assistants, nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses. Meanwhile, 14.6 percent said switching to an ACO would not affect nonphysician provider staffing, and a small minority (2.4 percent) said ACOs would make it easier.

Most healthcare executives (47.5 percent) said their organization had no plans to form an ACO. Eighteen percent were planning to but hadn't started the process, while 14.8 percent have started but not yet finalized the process. A tenth (10.7 percent) is already part of an ACO or had a finalized agreement, while just under a tenth (9 percent) didn't know what an ACO was.

Other data also suggest that most hospitals are passing on accountable care, although those that are interested in experimenting are more likely to do so under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. According to Managed Healthcare Executive data this month, providers are considering participating in Medicare ACOs (36.2 percent) and commercial ACOs (28.7 percent). About a quarter (26.2 percent) are considering Medicaid ACOs (26.2 percent), and 8.5 percent are not interested in any ACO model.

For more information:
- read the Medicus Firm report results (.pdf)
- see the Managed Healthcare Executive article

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