Declining reimbursement and increasing pressure around quality of care mean hospitals and physicians have new impetus to work together. According to a recent survey from PwC's Health Research Institute, there are ways to make these relationships work but it will take effort on both sides. PwC identified three essential secrets for success: shared governance, aligned compensation and changing physician-practice patterns. Other findings include:

  • More than 90 percent of physicians say they should be involved in such hospital governance activities as serving on boards, being in management and taking part in performance improvement.
  • Nearly two-thirds of physicians say they can devote time to leadership and management activities. To make sure physicians have time to fulfill administrative obligations, more providers are paying them for serving on committees and participating in administrative activities.
  • Hospital leaders say most physicians lack needed leadership and business skills to participate in these activities.
  • Physicians say half their compensation should be fixed salary and the remainder incentive based.
  • More than 80 percent of physicians who are considering hospital employment say they expect to be paid the same as or more than they are now. The average increase suggested was 2.4 percent. The average range of expected compensation was 1 to 4.7 percent. Fewer than one in five physicians surveyed say they would accept a pay cut to work for a hospital.

Sixty-two percent of physicians say nationally accepted physician-practice guidelines have the most potential to change current physician-practice patterns; only 30 percent prefer locally developed guidelines.

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