One of the hardest aspects of growing a practice can simply be finding a qualified physician to join your practice. Just a year ago, 80-90% of physicians were in private practice, and today, depending on the estimates you read, more than 60% of physician’s work for Medical Groups or health systems, shifting the role of physicians from being affiliated with a healthcare provider to being an employee.
This shift is largely in part to due a decrease in reimbursement and higher overhead, not to mention the struggle to remain in compliance with the Affordable Care Act, the requirements of Meaningful Use and the ever-rising costs of malpractice insurance.
According to the 2016 report by the Association of American Colleges*, physician demand continues to grow faster than supply leading to a projected shortfall of between 61,700 and 94,700 physicians by 2025. Projected shortfalls in primary care range between 14,900 and 35,600 physicians by 2025. Projected shortfalls in non-primary care specialties range between 37,400 and 60,300 by 2025, with the shortfalls especially acute in select surgical and other specialties.
Therefore, finding and recruiting qualified candidates is one of the top challenges facing medical practices today and this pressure will only continue to rise as the supply can’t meet the demand.
Therefore, to improve your chances of landing great physicians, try these tips:
1. Have a Plan! Most practices don’t have a formal process in place when it comes to the recruitment of physicians and this can be a complicated process, so having a plan is essential to your success.
- Assess your needs – now and in the future
- Identify your Mission – A successful recruitment process must reflect your organization’s purpose and help you evaluate candidates to determine if they share your values and align with your strategic needs.
- Identify non-negotiable qualities – For example, you might not want turnover in your practice, so you might want to look for a candidate that is committed.
- Determine your compensation & benefits package –
- Compensation – Determine base salary, if any. For incentive compensation, define terms, include formulas, and provide realistic sample calculations. Establish whether your new physician will be paid for productivity. If so, is the formula based on collections, charges, relative value units (RVUs), profitability, or some combination of these. You may consider purchasing the Provider Compensation & Production Data from the MGMA or other sources offer up-to-date data for compensation ranges.
- Will you offer Relocation expenses?
- Need to determine duration of contract.
e. Will you use a recruitment firm? Recruiters use various media, including the Internet, brochures, advertisements, telephone calls, and direct mailings to alert potential candidates of openings in the medical community.
f. Where can you recruit from? Determine if you will recruit a new resident, an experienced physician or a physician that has an established practice.
2. Accentuate the positives of your practice! First, start by listing all of the great features of working in your practice, and then plan to accentuate those things during your recruiting process. Today’s (young) physicians are very mission-driven and have a strong sense of selflessness. So, you’ll have an advantage if you can tap into that desire!
3. Technology – Make sure that your practice has the latest technology! Does your practice have and use an EHR? Does your practice have a website with a patient portal? You can appeal to younger physicians with the use of technology so be sure to highlight the advanced technology within your practice, such as robotics, telemedicine, and EHRs. New physicians have been trained to use these technologies.
4. Recruit the whole family – Keep in mind that the rise of two-physician couples which makes up for almost one-third of the Residents and Fellows Survey (which was conducted by respondents to the Cejka*) have a spouse or significant other who is also physician. *https://www.cejkasearch.com/survey/physician-recruiting-survey-residents-and-fellows
5. Consider hiring Mid-Levels – Don’t just look for physicians to fill the void even though doctors provide a lot of income to hospitals. Consider hiring non-physician providers like nurse practitioners and physician assistants, to take on the workload.
Cynthia Young is the former CEO of STAT MedCare, LLC, which is a national billing, credentialing and practice management consultant. STAT is a U.S.-based, national provider of credentialing, payor enrollment, rate negotiation, and other credentialing related services.