Physician relationships examined

As with any healthcare conference, expect plenty of talk at HFMA ANI to focus on relationships with physicians. Unfortunately, as we all know, rules governing physician relationships change with the weather, so it's good to take time at a show like this one to catch up.

One area that's always a hot spot is physician pay--I expect we'll all learn something from the afternoon class on June 24th about physician compensation trends, for example. And Wednesday the 25th's morning session on developing and maintaining hospital-employed affiliated physician groups should dig in to some interesting issues. While I didn't see a specific program regarding joint venturing on outpatient centers and specialty hospitals, I'm pretty confident there will be plenty of buzz in the hallways on this issue, too.

One issue that didn't get any play in this year's program, but is definitely worth discussing with colleagues, is how health systems are handling their financial support of electronic medical records for physicians. Here at FierceHealthFinance we've seen arrangements that run the gamut, from full-out donations of entire systems to partial subsidies, to mandates that physicians buy the darned EMRs themselves. This issue, as you can imagine, is only going to get hotter as time goes by, so it'll be intriguing to touch base with some of you and hear how your system is handling this issue. It'll definitely be on the table for at least the next few years--and if you haven't got an EMR donation program in place, it's definitely time to talk about one. After all, if you don't give away EMRs, your competition probably will.