Do Hospitals that Employ their Physicians Need a Community Need Assessment?

As more community physicians become hospital and hospital system employees, hospitals may face challenges about the wisdom of continuing to recruit.Hospital-employed physicians can feel that their practices should only be the hospital’s focus to assist them in growing their practice instead of recruiting competitive new physicians. One case involved a sizable regional hospital and an employed OB/GYN. The physician filed a civil lawsuit against the hospital’s leadership, other OB/GYN physicians, and even the hospital’s in-house recruiter for unfair recruiting practices when the employed physician’s practice was not full.Because there had been comprehensive community need assessments and documentation of need by an objective party every three years, the organization was able to demonstrate data as to need in several areas.

Over the past several years, the documentation indicated that the family practice physicians had ceased doing C-sections or surgery and focused on office-based GYN services only. Additionally, the community population had grown, especially with the female age cohort for child-bearing age. Several OB/GYN practices were closed to new Medicare and Medicaid patients as their practices were full. Also, three practices were reducing access hours, or the physicians were planning to retire.By completing and keeping the objective community need assessment (CNA) updated, it was clear that the hospital had demonstrated an opening to maintain the necessary number of OB/GYNs to serve a growing community. Planning and documentation are an urgent need for hospitals, with the growing physician shortage and 32% of the nation’s physician population over age 60. Succession planning and hospital ongoing physician need, planning, and documentation is critical.

Coker Group’s CNAs include the required evidence-based categories to analyze the service area and those conditions for all specialties to predict community need. An objective party should conduct such a study every two to three years to keep the data up to date.

Contact us today and mention this post to speak directly with Sandy Champion and discuss your hospital’s physician recruitment needs.

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