Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hospitals Buying Doctors

In the 3/15/2013 Forbes, Scott Gottleib explains that, "Hospitals Are Going On A Doctor Buying Binge, And It Is Likely To End Badly".

One point:
The doctors will get squeezed but the real misfortunate will befall patients. We will increasingly be getting our medical care out of busy, hospital-run clinics. Our doctors will be salaried employees, more beholden to the rules that hospitals erect to manage their activities than the medical practices that they once owned.
He also has a related Wall Street Journal piece, "The Doctor Won't See You Now. He's Clocked Out".

In this piece, he observes:
Big government likes big providers. That's why ObamaCare is gradually making the local doctor-owned medical practice a relic. In the not too distant future, most physicians will be hourly wage earners, likely employed by a hospital chain.

Why? Because when doctors practice in small offices, it is hard for Washington to regulate what they do. There are too many of them, and the government is too remote. It is far easier for federal agencies to regulate physicians if they work for big hospitals. So ObamaCare shifts money to favor the delivery of outpatient care through hospital-owned networks.
Note that the patient becomes the least important party in this new system.