Three Secrets about Why Hospitals Hire Physicians

February 12, 2015

With 30-plus years in the hospital business, here are three secrets about the physicians hospitals hire and those who are most valued.

Telling you that I spent 30-plus years in the hospital business is my way of saying that I am not making this up. Nonetheless, this is my personal opinion based upon personal experience after having moved to the physician side of healthcare. It's my way of saying that I am going to share some secrets.

Secret 1

Great diagnosticians, gifted chronic and episodic disease managers whose need to schedule a patient for diagnostics, hospitalization, or procedures is infrequent, and surgeons who schedule procedures only as a last resort and run patients in and out uneventfully were not on my hospital CEO radar. Nor were they on the radar of the rest of the staff, unless they were marketable recruiting magnets for patients and other physicians.

Why? Because they didn't drive business otherwise.

Secret 2

The physicians who ordered lots of diagnostics, especially imaging, had frequent acute episodes requiring emergency department visits resulting in hospitalizations and procedures, and who did lots and lots of elective procedures were the ones we knew best, and valued most, even before the most marketable, high-profile patient and physician draws.

They were also the physicians that we wanted to bring in close, preferably as employees, under the theory that employment ties are the ties that bind - to our diagnostics, ED, and inpatient and outpatient acute care beds, feeding our other captive ancillary businesses to ice the cake.

Secret 3

Hospitals are not in the healthcare business. They are in the health-crisis management business.

Physicians are in the health-crisis prevention business.

Oversimplified, yes, but, when the onion is peeled, you are at the center upon which everything else revolves.