Four top health systems taking strides towards improving patient engagement
March 18, 2019
The healthcare system is always looking to improve upon patient engagement with technology. Healthcare Finance described four new ways patient portals are improving “patient experience and health outcomes.”
March 11, 2019
Series: Examining Losses in Health System Physician Practices
As reimbursement pressures continue to mount, health systems are looking at every aspect of their operations and asking critical questions. These reviews frequently lead to the physician enterprise, when health systems lose money on their employed physicians.
Today, many health systems are starting to ask whether they can afford to underwrite their physician enterprise on an ongoing basis. Can the health system sustain current levels of red ink into the future? At what point can a hospital system no longer afford to subsidize physician employment on a large scale?
To such questions, many industry participants respond by saying practice losses are inevitable. They’re simply a cost of doing business. Some participants will also point out that many hospital departments lose money, and so, physician practices should be viewed no differently.
Others will venture to say that physician practices are “loss leaders” or that health systems ultimately make up the difference elsewhere in the overall enterprise. “At the end of the day, it’s all one pot of money,” they say.
Based on the last article in this series, however, it should be readily apparent that offsetting practice losses by inpatient and outpatient referral profits from employed physicians is a bad idea. Crunching the numbers for individual physicians or groups is a key allegation in certain high-profile and costly whistleblower cases. Losses should not be justified on this basis. A health system, therefore, needs to think about its physician enterprise apart from referrals.
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