2014 Survey of Physician Practice and Contracting Arrangements with Hospitals

Health care delivery is moving to a value-based environment where patients, payers and policymakers will hold providers increasingly accountable for costs and quality. To achieve the Triple Aim of improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction), improving the health of populations and reducing per-capita costs of health care, physicians and hospitals are developing different arrangements to improve care delivery.

To fully understand how physician practice and contracting arrangements and their relationships with hospitals are developed and affect care delivery, the AHA conducted a baseline survey of the nation’s hospitals and health systems to gather data on the types of relationships physicians and hospitals are developing to improve care delivery and meet the needs of their communities.

The survey data show the impact of the current health care environment and the forces driving a rethinking of the relationships between physicians and hospitals. New payment methodologies, the increased employment of physicians by hospitals and the move to more accountable care organizations require closer integration to achieve the Triple Aim.

The data indicate the potential for closer integration and organization. In addition, to support the needs of clinical integration for improved quality, patient safety and streamlined care delivery, arrangements between and among physicians and hospitals need to promote mutual accountability and joint leadership. Only in this way will health care delivery fulfill its full potential.

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