VHA study: Hospitals should get to know local physicians

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A new study produced by the VHA Inc. emphasizes why hospitals should establish better working relationship with local physicians.

The study, "The Doctor is Out: Physician Competitors in the Marketplace," says that more hospitals are experiencing competition from local physicians for services such as diagnostic imaging, ambulatory surgery and inpatient care. As a result, hospitals could potentially lose millions of dollars in revenue.

Before developing a strategy to mitigate the problem, the healthcare cooperative says that hospitals must understand key physician motivators and enablers. Motivators include the desire for efficiency and control, the need to improve income and the perception that hospitals are not meeting physicians' business needs, says the VHA poll.

In addition, says the VHA, physicians are enabled to compete with hospitals because of advances in technology, the regulatory landscape and the availability of business partners willing to provide capital and management expertise.

But all is not lost. By understanding the local marketplace and the needs of the physicians, hospitals can develop strategic plans that address the issues before they escalate into competition, says the VHA.

For further information on the study, visit the company's Web site at  www.vha.com.