Study: Hospitals fight for closer physician partnerships

It seems that the ever-changing relationship between hospitals and physicians is shifting again. According to new research from the Center for Studying Health System Change, hospitals are now looking for ways to form tighter partnerships with physicians, concerned about strains in their relationships.

Among the biggest forces straining hospital-doctor relationships are the emergence of specialty hospitals (and, no doubt, ambulatory surgery centers) that compete with hospitals. Hospitals are also frustrated by physicians' resistance to work in their EDs or go on call. To sidestep these difficulties, hospitals are forming joint ventures more aggressively, and also making more efforts to bring physicians onto their payroll. 

To date, however, such efforts aren't particularly profitable, researchers say. What's more, questions are arising as to whether some placatory measures, such as on-call payments for ED coverage, are even kosher legally.

To find out more about the study:
- read this Modern Healthcare article
- read the CSHSC issue brief

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