More physicians to choose employment over independent practice

April 29, 2011

A majority of physicians believe more doctors will choose employment over independent practice in the next two to three years, according to a new study by ModernMedicine.com and McKesson.

 

A majority of physicians believe more doctors will choose employment over independent practice in the next two to three years, according to a new study by ModernMedicine.com and McKesson.

Nearly two-thirds of the 125 physicians responding to the survey said employment will be more attractive than independent practice for the next few years. Twenty-five percent said it would depend on healthcare reform. Hospitals were listed as the most attractive employers (30%), followed by large independent practices (20%).

When asked why physicians would consider employment rather than independent practice, 85% cited rising overhead and costs. That was followed by declining reimbursements (74%) and increasingly time-consuming billing and coding (66%).

Among other findings:

  • A majority of respondents believe that physicians in private practice are more productive than those who are employed.

  • Insufficient billing and coding support and insufficient staff to support patient load were listed as the factors most detrimental to physician productivity.

The online survey was completed in February and March. Respondents were divided between primary care (60%) and specialists (38%). Fifty-three percent of those polled were salaried with the remainder owners of or shareholders in a practice. ModernMedicine.com, which includes Medical Economics’ online content, has 250,000 registered healthcare professional users, including 100,000 physicians.