How ACOs Will Affect Physician Recruitment

As more organizations are forming accountable care organizations, the physician recruitment processes of those organizations may also change.

A recent survey by The Medicus Firm, a Dallas-based physician search company, asked more than 200 healthcare employers and hospital systems how they believe the physician recruitment process will change under the new model of ACOs.

"A number of healthcare executives…have started adapting their recruitment plans, strategies and goals to meet the needs of the ACO model of healthcare delivery," said Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm and president-elect of the National Association of Physician Recruiters.

In fact, 73.1 percent of executives involved in ACOs said the change in delivery model will change their organization's physician recruitment goals and/or processes.

Even though the model of ACOs is still developing and there is no one consensus on what an ACO will look like, the survey provides insight on one of the fastest growing trends in healthcare. "There are many areas where there was overwhelming agreement among the vast majority of executives' responses," said Mr. Stone. "[That] indicates that many healthcare systems are starting to see similar trends and needs develop as they more their organization towards an ACO model."

The survey showed that many healthcare executives will recruit a different type of physician and even different types of providers as part of an ACO.

Different providers, new traits

An overwhelming majority of executives — 82.9 percent of them — expressed that they expect to increase the recruitment of non-physician providers, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, to provide care in an ACO.

In addition to an increase in the number of NPs and PAs recruited, the demographic of physicians that ACO executives recruit is also expected to change.

Physician traits needed in an ACO

More team-oriented: 78 percent of executives said this trait is needed in physicians in an ACO
Motivated by quality incentives: 68.3 percent
More technologically savvy: 65.9 percent
More evidence-based in their approach: 61 percent
More comfortable working with PAs and NPs: 53.7 percent

The least popular physician traits were having physicians being less evidence-based in their approach, preferring not to work with NPs and PAs, being okay with seeing a lower volume of patients, and being more experienced and independent. Those traits were chosen by two percent or less of respondents.

Many organizations will have to recruit new physicians if they want their medical staff to reflect the ideal traits above — only 2.4 percent of respondents said that all of their current physician staff meets the criteria they outlined as desirable.

More Articles on Physician Recruitment:

Using Locum Tenens to Lower Physician Attrition Rates
3 Costly Physician Recruitment Mistakes
Tricky Business: Acquiring, Losing and Changing Physicians

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