Hospitals woo private-practice PCPs into employed hospitalist roles

Hospitals are luring primary care physicians away from their private practices to instead work as employed physicians of hospitals, reports The Washington Post.

Health systems, including Inova Health in Northern Virginia, Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, and MedStar Health (including Montgomery General Hospital, Georgetown University Hospital, and Washington Hospital Center) in Maryland and Washington in recent years have increased efforts to actively recruit primary care physicians, reports The Washington Post.

For PCPs, hospital employment offers security and salaried pay, but it may change the way they practice medicine, with their patients turned over to the hospital.

"It's like the local coffee shop versus Starbucks," said one family medicine doctor whose Montgomery County group practice rejected a hospital system's offer in The Washington Post article.

For hospitals that now house internists and specialists in one building, hospitals gain patient referrals. Hospitals increasingly expand recruitment efforts, including hiring new graduates or paying for relocation fees.

In fact, less than a third of physicians will be in private practice by 2013, according to a study released last week by management consulting company Accenture Health. The study says that independent physicians employed by health systems will grow by an annual rate of 5 percent over three years.

For more:
- read The Washington Post article