Large Employers Look to Contract Directly With Physicians
More self-insured employers are considering direct contracting with physicians, as healthcare experiences continued upheaval due to reform and increases in the cost of coverage, according to an American Medical News report.
Industry experts say that if physicians want to take advantage of the direct contracting trend, they should provide employers with data that show they provide high-quality, low-cost care. In many cases, however, physicians cannot approach employers directly because of their own contracts with health plans.
According to the report, larger employers such as Perdue Farms have started contracting directly with physicians and hospitals. Perdue has actually been contracting directly for more than 10 years and now has approximately 15,000 contracts that cover care for 30,000 employees and dependents. Roger Merrill, MD, chief medical officer at the company, said direct contracting has improved employee health, saved Perdue money and benefited primary care physicians.
Though there is no official count of the number of employers practicing direct contracting, industry experts say interest is growing.
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