Hospitals Adding Incentives to Attract Doctors

Now that healthcare reform is looking to extend insurance to millions, there is a growing attrition rate of current physicians, and, with a number of Americans 65 and older continuing to age, hospitals are competing for the services of primary care physicians.

The American College of Physicians projects a shortage of 35,000 to 44,000 primary care physicians by 2025. Additionally the number of Americans 65 and older is projected to reach 72.1 million by 2030 as reported by the Federal Administration of Aging.

Aging results in more chronic conditions for people over age 65

This demographic may likely face chronic conditions more than any other which will promote the need for outpatient services. In order to be ready for outpatient usage, along with an influx of patients, many requiring treatment for chronic conditions, hospital executives need a recruitment strategy that will attract and retain primary care physicians.

Incentives doctors look for when considering employment

When considering employment opportunities, the top two priorities for primary care physicians are:

  • Fair compensation, and
  • Some control in the flexibility of their schedule

In addition, offering to subsidize electronic health records is another technique in acquiring primary care physicians. Under 2006 Stark laws, hospital may contribute 85% of electronic health record expenses. With electronic health records increasingly growing in popularity for better-coordinated health care and often more efficient care, this subsidy is a great incentive for any primary care physician.

Disability insurance will often provide an attractive lure to practitioners

In addition, offering a good doctor’s disability insurance plan can entice physicians to join the hospital staff. The protection this provides is an asset that many doctors understand the value of. Offering Professional disability insurance, as well as long term care coverage, to the staff can provide them with a sense of security when they are unable to earn income, while safeguarding their retirement funds in the event that they become sick or injured.

In fact, statistically, a professional is more likely to suffer a severe disability that damages his or her ability to work, rather than die prematurely, which is why disability insurance is such an attractive benefit for physicians.

The basics of disability insurance

Disability insurance, designed to provide the extra income protection a physician needs in case of a disabling off-the-job illness or injury, can be purchased on a short or long-term basis. Most disability coverage is equal to approximately 60% of earned income.

Short-term disability will replace a portion of your income during the initial weeks of a disabling illness or accident. Depending on the insurer, policies can cover from the first 6 months up to a year of a disability and provide coverage during the waiting period of most long-term disability Insurance plans. Long-term disability insurance replaces a portion of your income during an extended period of a disabling illness or accident. Premium rates and benefits vary based on the age, gender, monthly benefits, duties and earnings of the insured, which is why a professional advisor is key in reviewing the various options available.