Why Choose an Independent Urologist?
What is the difference between an Independent Physician and Hospital Employed Physician?
When it comes to your health, you want to choose the right doctor and get the right treatment. You need to be aware of the conflicts of interest that your physicians may have.
Choose the Right Doctor for Second Opinion.
- Does the physician have conflicts of interest?
- Some conflicts of interests are obvious – whether the doctor is receiving payments from device or pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Some conflicts of interest are not so obvious:
Who pays the doctor’s salary?
Independent Private Practice Physicians:
The financial conflicts of interest are more open. Private practice physicians get paid for visits, procedures, and surgeries. They have only you to answer. There is no upper management that implicitly or explicitly dictates what the physician must do.
Hospital employed physicians:
While there may be no obvious conflict of interest on the surface, typically physicians are compensated on productivity in one way or another. The more business they bring to the hospital, the better.
Physicians also are often obligated to refer patients to the hospital where they work and other hospital employed physicians. This becomes a problem for patients with complex urological problems as many hospitals do not have physicians who are highly specialized.
Hospitals are interested in filling their own hospital beds. They want their own radiation treatment facilities and their own radiology services to be used. This may be more expensive to you and to your insurance company. While they may not do it directly, hospitals know how much revenue and profit each physician brings to the hospital based on the number of tests the physician orders and a number of hospital admissions he or she generates. There is an implicit incentive for hospital-employed physicians to order more and do more. At the end of the day, their compensation is directly related to how much revenue and profit they generate for the hospital.
Physician compensation by hospitals is directly related to the value of the business that the physician brings to the hospital. While the hospitals are not allowed to track the referred business directly, they have very good data about the amount of business that each physician brings to the hospital. This explains the great variability in compensation not only between different types of physicians (primary care vs orthopedic surgeons) but also among different physicians in the same specialty. More famous physicians demand much higher compensation because they are very good at attracting patients and ‘bringing revenue and profits to the hospitals”.
How is your physician compensated? Is it Based on the Value they Deliver to you, the Patient, or to their Employer?
Typically hospitals make money from patients being in the hospital. Hospital employed physicians may be more likely to recommend hospital-based treatments such as inpatient surgery as opposed to less invasive procedures or more conservative treatment. Hospital-employed physicians may also not have access to latest minimally invasive treatment options as hospitals make more money on older surgeries that have more complications.
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