Almost one-third of children's hospitals responding to a survey on pediatric physician-hospital organizations said they are operating PHOs, and nearly half plan to form such affiliations.
Sixty children's hospitals responded to a June survey conducted by the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions, which has 135 members.
Thirty-two percent of the respondents said they have an operational PHO, while an additional 42% indicated plans to implement one within three to 12 months.
Recent surveys of acute-care hospitals indicate that up to three-quarters are developing PHOs to obtain managed-care contracts.
Of the 44 responding facilities that have a PHO in operation or in development, eight, or 18%, have contracts for business, and all operate fee-for-service payment structures.
Two-thirds of the operational PHOs are set up as not-for-profit organizations, and most are subsidiaries of a hospital or system.
Most of the capitalization for PHOs comes from hospitals, according to the survey. Wide variations were reported in hospital contributions for capitalizing the PHOs, but most dollar contributions fell in the $20,000 to $50,000 range.
The survey included 28 freestanding acute-care facilities, 20 nonfreestanding acute-care facilities and 12 speciality children's hospitals. None of the specialty children's hospitals reported the operation or formation of a PHO.
Community pediatricians and faculty physicians were more likely to be involved in a PHO than family practitioners, according to the respondents. The majority of organizations indicated that they share governance of their PHO with physicians and have a formula for board membership.