GE Healthcare Camden Group Insights Blog

A Profile of Physicians' Practice Environments & Ownership Status

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jul 18, 2014 4:17:00 PM

Survey, Employed PhysiciansFollowing are the results of physicians' employment and ownership status, according to a survey by Jackson Healthcare, a healthcare staffing company. The survey examined practice environments (including participants' employment and ownership status) as well as practice capacity and workload.

The survey data is based on responses from 1,527 physicians gathered between April 18 and June 5, 2014.

Practice Environments

Here is a breakdown of participants' employment and ownership status:

    • Hospital Employee (21 percent)
    • Solo Practice Owner (21 percent)
    • Ownership Stake in Single-Specialty Practice (17 percent)
    • Single or Multi-Specialty Practice Owned by Hospital/Health System (14 percent)
    • Employed by Privately Owned Single or Multi-Specialty Practice (14 percent)
    • Independent Contractor or Locums (9 percent)
    • Ownership Stake in Multi-Specialty Practice (4 percent)

    Specialists most likely to own a solo practice include:

    • Dermatologists (55 percent)
    • Ophthalmologists (43 percent)
    • Behavioral Health (34 percent)
    • Women's Health (29 percent)
    • Primary Care (28 percent)
    • Musculoskeletal (27 percent)
    • Surgery Subspecialists (22 percent)

    Primary Care Statistics

    The number of hospital-employed primary care physicians increased from 10 percent in 2012 to 20 percent in 2014. And the number of primary care physicians with an ownership stake in a single-specialty practice decreased from 12 percent in 2012 to 7 percent in 2014.

    When asked why they chose hospital employment over private practice, 37 percent of physicians said they did not want to deal with the administrative hassles of owning a practice. Thirty-three percent said they wanted to be a doctor, not a businessperson. Overall, the lifestyle that employment offers is the underlying factor driving physician preference.

    For physicians who left private practice, the majority attributed their decision to high overhead costs. Reimbursement cuts, lack of resources to comply with ACA requirements and the administrative hassles of ownership were other significant reasons cited.

    Practice Capacity & Workload

    When asked if their medical practice was at capacity, half said yes and half said no. This has remained unchanged since 2012.

    The medical practices of behavioral health and internal medicine subspecialists were more likely to be at full capacity. General surgeons, pediatricians and surgery subspecialists were least likely to be at full capacity.

    The majority of physicians surveyed (61 percent) work between nine and twelve hours per day. Eighteen percent reported working eight-hour days.

    The following are mean numbers from this year's survey:

    • Patients seen per day: 22
    • Minutes spent with each patient: 20
    • Patients seen/rounded on during hospital shift: 13
    • Surgeries on surgery day: 5

    Topics: Employed Physicians, Survey, Physician Employment, Practice Environments

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