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Recruiters Aren’t Getting Radiologist Requests

August 30, 2013
Written by: , Filed in: Practice Management
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This isn’t exactly happy news going into the Labor Day holiday weekend, but the physician recruiting company Merritt Hawkins & Associates, based in Irving, Texas, reports that demand for radiologists has dropped dramatically.

Specifically, according to Merritt Hawkins’ 2013 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives:

Radiology, which was Merritt Hawkins’ most requested specialty in 2001, 2002, and 2003, did not make the list of Merritt Hawkins’ top 20 most requested specialties in 2013.

Radiology had been the 18th-most-requested specialty in 2012.

So who is in demand? “Primary care physicians remain at the top of the wish list for most hospitals, medical groups, and other healthcare organizations,” the review says. “For the seventh consecutive year, two types of primary care physicians—family physicians and general internists—were Merritt Hawkins’ top two most requested physician search assignments.”

Merritt Hawkins publishes a report every year on salaries and other incentives offered to doctors by its clients. The 2013 review covered 3,097 search assignments for permanent physician and advanced practitioner positions from April 2013 through March 2013.

The company noted several trends, among them:

  • “The recruitment of physicians into independent practice settings such as solo practice and partnerships has almost entirely abated. Sixty-four percent of Merritt Hawkins’ search assignments in 2012/13 featured hospital employment of the physician, up from 11% in 2004.”
  • “Seventy-five percent of Merritt Hawkins 2012/13 search assignments featured a salary with production bonus. Most such bonuses (57%) are based on a Relative Value Units (RVU) formula. However, a growing number of production formulas also feature quality-based metrics. Thirty-nine percent of the search assignments Merritt Hawkins conducted in 2012/13 offering production bonuses featured a quality-based component, up from 35% the previous year.”
  • “A proliferating number of sites of service, including free-standing emergency departments, community health centers, retail clinics, and urgent care centers, are recruiting physicians, a sign that healthcare providers have adopted a strategy predicated on being ‘everywhere, all the time.’ Like hospitals, these facilities also are employing physicians.”
  • “Data show that a greater prevalence of insured patients does not necessarily decrease emergency room visits—a significant trend as millions of the previously uninsured begin to obtain coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and will seek ‘convenient care’ in the ER.”

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