As the number of doctors leaving independent practices increases, there has been more and more concern about the abuse they are taking from their employers (hospitals). Since no one really represents doctors when they decide to work for these organizations, they unfortunately get bullied or get scared or get greedy and sign on for, well, anything. Now the AAFP is realizing that most of their members are becoming “employed” and are trying to come to the rescue. Stop laughing. He are some quotes from the above article from a few months ago:
- “We believe physicians deserve fair hearings when threatened by termination from a hospital and that fear of retribution may limit or prevent physicians from fully advocating for their patients’ best interests,” said Blackwelder.
- Furthermore, “Physicians with due process rights are more likely to protest fraudulent practices that threaten the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” he added.
- “Physicians have a duty to advocate for their patients, even when such advocacy requires opposition to a hospital’s interests,” said Blackwelder.
So what is their plan? Are they trying to figure out a way for doctors to survive on their own? Of course not! No, they are going home to tell their Mommy (the CMS) so they can revise the “conditions of participation” document that Medicare-participating hospitals sign. Na, na, na-na-na-na. You are in so much trouble, hospitals!
Ok, enough of teasing the AAFP. The truth is, no one cares about you as an employed doctor other than you. Your peers don’t care about you and will walk the other way if you get into it with the administrators. How do I know? I worked for two hospitals for 15 years (one for ten and the other for five). I have been sued by one for a noncompete issue (lost that one but didn’t have to pay), I have been set up to be fired (they failed), I have been fired for not signing off on a third party to optimize my billing (I won), and been to the principal’s office more times than I can count. If you have read ANY of these blog entries over the years then you will know I am not a big fan of administrators. The reason is that once you sign to be their employee then you are their bitch. End of story. You have no power. The AAFP will not help you.
So what is the answer? Don’t sign with them. Stay independent. Do DPC. Do consulting. Do something other than falling for their trap. It’s not worth it.