Incentives: Do hospitals walk the walk?

For all the talk about having incentives for ‘quality’ hospital leaders do not walk the walk. Their recruitment patterns show they’re still incentivizing doctors for driving up procedure volumes rather than providing ‘value’ to patients. Merritt Hawkins recent study of 2700 physician searches shows that 3/4 of all physician searches include a performance bonus for the doctor and that <10 % of those bonuses are tied to something other than volume of procedures. 56% of the searches were conducted for hospitals probably because few private groups can afford their services. 
Like past years Family practice and general internal medicine were the most common specialty searched for. In 2008, about 50% of physician practices were hospital-owned but a survey last fall by another industry group found that 74 percent of hospital leaders planned to hire more doctors in the next 12 to 36 months. Most want primary-care doctors. However, in my own community, 3 large Vascular Surgery groups are all hospital employed now.