Sunday, November 18, 2012

Doctors as Salaried Hospital Employees 

Our romantic selves continue to cling to the medical ideal of the friendly GP in solo private practice in an office above the drug store.  The strength of that myth is what is keeping us from openly recognizing that the prototype health care provider of the future will be the local hospital that employs its medical staff.

But occasionally, reality creeps through.  Page 4A of the November 9 issue of the Omaha World Herald included a locally written article on changes in medical care as discussed in a recent forum at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  The following paragraph appeared in the middle of the article: 

“Reimbursement by the government and insurers slowly is moving away from paying doctors for doing procedures and toward a system in which doctors are salaried hospital employees and are rewarded for keeping groups of patients healthy.” 

Referring to doctors as salaried hospital employees in a newspaper article is something few would have dared to do not so long ago.   Maybe, at long last, that is changing.



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