The new forces in the battle to employ physicians

More organizations outside of health systems and hospitals are seeking to recruit physicians from a shrinking pool of candidates, according to AMN Healthcare's "2023 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives."

Retail clinics, urgent care centers, telehealth platforms and private equity firms have entered the race for physicians. According to the AMN report, payers have also been looking to add physicians in the last few years. 

UnitedHealth Group's Optum, the country's largest employer of physicians, is scooping up physician groups. This year, the company acquired Middletown, N.Y.-based Crystal Run Healthcare and agreed to buy Baton Rouge, La.-based home and hospice care provider Amedisys

Payers, however, could be "less interested in the revenue-generating potential of physicians than some physician employers and more interested in their ability to enhance prevention and general patient health," the report said. 

Retail giants like CVS Health, Amazon and Walgreens-owned VillageMD, along with telehealth platforms such as Teladoc, Amwell and Doctor on Demand, are also vying for physicians. 

Additionally, patients, particularly younger patients, are increasingly accessing care at retail clinics and urgent care platforms.

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