Friday, June 17, 2011

What to make of this...

Consulting firm Accenture recently published the results of their survey of physicians, which reveals a disturbing (but unsurprising) trend:

"(T)he rate of independent physicians being employed by health systems will grow by an annual five percent over three years. By 2013, less than one-third of physicians are expected to remain truly independent."

I characterized this as "unsurprising" because we've been predicting this for quite some time. For example:

"As we reported ... 40% of doctors said they would "retire, seek a nonclinical job in health care, or seek a job or business unrelated to health care ... Dr Bradley Wertheim ... finds that new physician training standards will exacerbate the problem ... We have too many patients and too few doctors."

The interesting twist in the Accenture study is that so many docs seem to be casting their lots with hospital-based practices, aka ACO's. When hospital bean-counters, not physicians themselves, are calling the health care shots (so to speak), what do you think will happen to quality of care?
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