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HFMA survey results show shifting hospital-physician dynamics

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ATLANTA, June 14, 2013 — Today’s hospitals consider physician relationships critical to their success in an accountable care environment – whether through direct employment or affiliation with independent community physicians. This is according to a survey of 139 hospital and health system executives by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). The survey, sponsored by McKesson, queried the executives about physician affiliation strategies to assess current and future trends and the impact of changing care models on employment.

While survey respondents reported an increase in collaboration with their physicians to improve care coordination and efficiency, only 20 percent believe they are “very prepared” and have the necessary infrastructure to support quality and outcomes-based management. This reinforces the need for services that will help hospitals as they work with their physicians and physician practices to transition to the new models of care.

The survey also confirmed that physician compensation will become increasingly value-driven.  According to the findings, 77 percent of current physician agreements are based on productivity or volume. In the future, cost-of-care or efficiency-related incentives in physician agreements are expected to grow dramatically from 16 to 67 percent. Similarly, quality-related incentives are expected to increase from 65 to 85 percent.

“The survey demonstrates the shift from the ‘fill your beds’ mentality of the past based on fee-for-service,” states Janice Wiitalia, director of research for the HFMA, who led the research project. “Everyone is starting to realize that the focus in a value-based environment is keeping patients healthy, not the volume of care provided.” 

In addition, 72 percent of the survey respondents cited improved care coordination as the greatest short-term benefit of employing physicians. They expect to start to reap those benefits approximately two years after employment.

Through its Better Health 2020 initiative, McKesson is positioned to provide hospitals, physician practices and other healthcare organizations with the resources needed to help reduce costs, improve financial performance, coordinate care and successfully navigate complex payment models.

“We understand the challenges that healthcare executives are facing as they assume risk and enter into new relationships for care delivery,” said Pat Leonard, president, McKesson Business Performance Services. “The survey results clearly demonstrate a need for comprehensive services to support new care models. At McKesson, we have a business dedicated to providing those services. Our mission is to help organizations address today’s requirements and drive long-term improvements in clinical and financial outcomes.”


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