Keep your physicians from fleeing

Make sure they’re happy where they are

Is your facility in danger of losing valuable cardiac staff when the next heart-only facility like MedCath pops up in your locale? When physicians shift their allegiance to another hospital, it’s usually because they think no one is paying attention to their needs, explains Leatrice Ford, RN, manager of clinical services at Aspen Healthcare Metrics, a consulting firm in Englewood, CO. That’s why MedCath, based in Charlotte, NC, has been so successful in attracting local physician partners when it moves into an area. The company has also been successful in negotiating managed care contracts by keeping down the cost of cardiac care and making its services attractive to payers.

How can you keep your cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons from deserting? Ford counsels her clients to think about why physicians feel allegiance to hospitals:

• How have you helped them maintain or increase their market?

• Why should they want to send business your way?

Her advice — develop a fair working relationship with your physicians. Work with them to reduce costs, and make sure they set achievable goals.