“Unfortunately, when negotiating with hospitals I am frequently forced to deal with individuals who need to ‘explain’ the importance of maintaining flexibility in their workforce (a wonderful business school phrase that appropriately dehumanizes the people who are accomplishing the purported mission of the hospital to treat the sick and injured). The hospital personnel frequently tell me that limiting patient contact hours to ‘only’ 32 or 36 hours per week is considered part-time. Many contend that keeping the electronic health record boxes all appropriately checked should be done on the physician’s own time. I assume the hospital administrators would be pleased if a physician avoided any personal contact with the patient during whatever brief moments are allocated for a visit so that the electronic health record can be put into a condition that allows billing for the visit.
Physicians, of course, spend their visits treating the patient as a human being rather than a unit on the assembly line that is their schedule. Doing so requires significant outside time polishing the record so that the hospital may bill. Hospital executives apparently view this as an inefficient use of resources, and therefore frequently insist upon 40 patient contact hours per week.”
Dennis Hursh is a veteran attorney with over 40 years of experience in health law. He is founder, Physician Agreements Health Law, which offers a fixed fee review of physician employment agreements to protect physicians in one of the biggest transactions of their careers. He can also be reached on Facebook and LinkedIn.
He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, “Are hospitals evil? A physician contract lawyer explains.”
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