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Hospitals are in a hiring mood — for the right doctors

Connected coverage — selected articles on trends, challenges and controversies in the changing world of medicine.

Posted June 3, 2013

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Hospital systems’ interest in acquiring physician practices is only growing more intense, but they’re not buying indiscriminately. Hospitals are looking at physicians who can meet their goals of raising quality while keeping a hold on costs, and increasingly they’re turning to primary care doctors as the acquisition targets who can best meet those goals.

American Medical News has covered hospitals’ burgeoning practice acquisition appetite, what kind of practices they want, and why they want them. For doctors who are interested in selling, the key to getting the best deal is being the kind of specialty a hospital wants — and making changes to your practice if necessary to make sure it’s as appealing as it can be.

“Seismic shift” lifts primary care’s impact on hospital revenues

For the first time in the 11-year history of its survey, physician search firm Merritt Hawkins found that on a per-physician basis, primary care doctors contributed more to hospital revenues than did specialists. Market analysts said this largely was a result of hospitals acquiring more primary care practices, and leaning on those doctors to help manage care in the hope of keeping quality up and costs down.

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Hospital interest in acquiring physician practices grows

More than half of hospitals wanted to buy doctor practices in 2013, up from 44% who said they closed deals in 2012, according to a survey of health system executives by staffing company Jackson Healthcare. The deals were being done to strengthen hospital networks and the facilities’ bottom lines. By far, their most intended targets were in primary care: 54% sought family physicians, and 26% wanted general internal medicine practices.

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What a buyer wants in your physician practice

When a hospital or anyone else is interested in buying a practice, it has a checklist in mind that needs to be completed sufficiently before any deal is done. The checklist has a lot to do with how the practice can, as quickly as possible, contribute to the hospital’s financial success. How can a practice make sure it’s ready to fulfill those requirements if it wants to sell?

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