Despite the operational shortcomings of many physician-hospital organizations (Oct. 9, 1995, p. 77), one recent survey concludes that PHOs continue to be a popular strategy to package services for managed care.
The portion of hospitals that sponsor PHOs increased to 71% in 1995, compared with 67% a year earlier, according to the survey by Tyler & Co., an Atlanta-based healthcare executive search firm, and the American Association of PHOs/Integrated Delivery Systems, based in Glen Allen, Va.
Of the 29% of hospitals that didn't sponsor a PHO, more than 25% had one under development, the survey said.
"This year's survey results confirm what many have believed for some time-that the PHO is firmly establishing its place in today's healthcare delivery system," said Tyler & Co. Senior Vice President Stephen J. Kratz.
The survey was mailed to hospitals with more than 250 beds; 330 responded. About 79% of respondents indicated that their PHOs had existed less than two years, while 24% were less than 6 months old.
The portion of PHOs operating as freestanding entities with their own chief executive officers rose to 63%, from 48% a year earlier. Also, the portion of executives who report to PHO boards increased to more than 75% from about two-thirds.
However, PHOs continue to operate with a lean staff, with 82% reporting five or fewer staff members, the survey said.
It showed that 67% of PHOs are owned equally by physicians and hospitals, up from about 64% the previous year.
Base salaries for PHO executives appear to have remained steady, with 49% earning between $70,000 and $110,000.