Heavy economic pressures, such as increasing number of patients, drug shortages, and more stringent regulations, are forcing more oncologists to leave private practice to become part of larger institutions. Although the new relationship can stabilize incomes and improve services, physicians may not be fairly compensated without the appropriate oncology systems that can align their services with those of the hospital.
Professional cancer consulting services that offer oncology program planning can help identify the ideal physician-hospital alignment structures that would benefit both parties, such as:
In the direct employment approach, the physician is hired by the hospital. The pay rate is negotiated based on supply and demand; the more qualified oncologists of a particular field are lined up for hire, the lower the competitive pay rate becomes. On the other hand, if only few of them are seeking employment, then the pay rate increases.
Professional Service Agreement
For oncologists who would like to preserve part of the autonomy of their private practice, the professional service agreement or PSA approach would be a better option. Here, hospital contracts the oncologist or group of oncologists to provide services to patients. Through the PSA, the hospital serves as the payor instead of multiple health insurance contracts. In some situations, the physician can still generate revenues from patients in other locations while holding a PSA relationship with a hospital at the same time.
Management Service Agreement
Sometimes, it would be better for the hospital to delegate part or all of their oncology service line to one practice because it has the skill and technology to conduct cancer services. In a management service agreement approach, the hospital purchases management services, such as billing, supervision of chemotherapy services, or non-physician staffing, from one oncology practice.
Because the relationship between physicians and hospitals is complex, taking on the services of independent cancer consulting firm may be necessary to identify the best alignment strategies to meet the needs of both hospitals and clinical staff. Visit OncologySolutions.com for more information on comprehensive oncology systems and oncology program planning services.