Doctor’s Diary November 14, 2017: Should hospitals employ doctors?

(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.

Sounds reasonable.

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.

1 Comment

  • Saly White says:

    This is so true! After spending 6 days in the hospital with a broken pelvis, I was discharged at 11:30 PM!

    When I had entered through the emergency room, I was under the care of the ER doctor who was in charge at the time. Even though my bowels had not functioned since before the fall which caused the problem, he did not consider that sufficient reason to allow me to stay in the hospital until that problem was corrected!

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