(Snippets from the frontline)
Should hospitals employ doctors?
Not legally in California. Why? Because they are afraid profiteering hospital administrators might dangle the salary of employed doctors forcing harmful patient decisions.
Administrators though have found a way around protective government to financially manipulate physicians. Instead of employing individual doctors, they set up contracts with MD groups (e.g. hospitalists, HMOs, emergency physicians, specialty surgeons), and then dangle their contracts.
This financial influence can ultimately affect patient care (how long you stay in the hospital, whether a consulting specialists is asked to be involved in your case, if you are forced to go to a nursing home, etc.).
Contracted physicians say their clinical judgement is not swayed by administrators. Really? Keeping your job, paying your mortgage and student loan debt, raising your kids, and sustaining personal standards of living are not on your mind when you are told to get a patient out of the hospital?
These doctors might not be employed by the hospital, but administrators certainly can control their medical decisions.
Even in California.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.