Many not-for-profit hospitals and systems are revisiting physician employment models, a strategy that fizzled for many in the mid-'90s, according to a report by bond-rating agency Moody's Investors Service. But these days, hospitals appear to be more prudent in their physician-integration strategies, and Moody's said it expects to see more hospitals move to integrate further with doctors over the next two to three years. As before, hospitals are hoping to build market share and physicians are looking for income stability. Hospitals no longer are reacting in anticipation of capitation, a trend that never fully materialized, while malpractice insurance has become more of a problem for physicians. What's more, hospitals are at risk of losing key clinical services to physician-owned ambulatory centers. As a result, physician-integration strategies, if managed well, could be at least a neutral or even a positive credit factor, Moody's said.
Hospitals taking new look at doc-employment models
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