While doctors, in general, are in high demand, cardiologists and cardiovascular imaging specialists, in particular, are actively being recruited by a number of hospital organizations, such as the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic. The day-to-day costs of running and managing a private practice combined with declining reimbursements are pushing cardiologists to seek out hospitals as their first line of defense. Having willing recruits makes filling these critical positions that much easier.
What may pose a challenge is keeping your newly minted cardiologist happy. Where being held in high esteem and earning a six-figure income could almost guarantee a positive job satisfaction rating in years past, today, doctors want not only to be compensated fairly, but also have needs ranging from state-of-the-art cardiovascular imaging and information systems (CVIS) to maintaining appropriate staffing levels. Poor management can also pose a hurdle for keeping cardiologists content.
Hospital Culture Plays a Role in Retention
Morris Hospital in Illinois recently lost one of its cardiovascular groups due, in part, to an unresponsive administration, according to the Morris Daily Herald. So, just because a hospital is able to recruit and hire an individual doctor or cardio group, it’s also a challenge keeping them. The stresses and strains on the doctor population are well documented, so management styles may begin to play an increasing role in retention, especially for a younger generation whose peer group is more collaborative rather than closed off or competitive.
A survey the American College of Cardiology (ACC) conducted, identified activities that hospitals could offer as one way of communicating that they care: paying for physicians to attend conferences and/or reimbursement for medical education opportunities.
According to the ACC study reported in Cardiovascular Business, 79% of respondents said their organization internally provided continuing medical education opportunities for staff, and 36% said their organization pays the entire bill for education support for CV specialists. Seventy percent (70%) said their organization provided funding and reimbursement for attending conferences.
Market Forces Create Static Environment
As the medical industry continues to face financial pressures, specialties such as cardiology and cardiovascular imaging are particularly hard hit. New data from the Medical Group Management Association found the median total medical revenues in cardiology practices were flat. Market forces seem to be creating a business dynamic where more and more CV specialists have no alternative but to go “in-house.” Matching the specialist to the right culture and rewarding him or her with the right incentives is the challenge going forward for hospital executives regardless of market size.