6 Guidelines for Physician Employment

Some clarity and guidance is now available to assist physicians, practice owners and hospital administrators navigate the complex terrain of physician employment.

Recently, the American Medical Association (AMA) reviewed, approved and released a set of principles to guide physicians into entering employment. These principles, laid out and followed, form the foundation that both employers and their physicians can build upon to ensure seamless, ethical, cost-conscious and most of all high-quality care to their respective patient populations.

The six principles are:

  1. Addressing Conflicts of Interest-“A physician’s paramount responsibility is to his or her patients.“   
  2. Advocacy for Patients and the Profession- “Patient advocacy is a fundamental element of the patient-physician relationship that should not be altered by the health care system or setting in which physicians practice, or the methods by which they are compensated.”
  3. Contracting- “Physicians should be free to enter into mutually satisfactory contractual arrangements, including employment, with hospitals, health care systems, medical groups, insurance plans, and other entities as permitted by law and in accordance with the ethical principles of the medical profession.”
  4. Hospital Medical Staff Relations- “Employed physicians should be members of the organized medical staffs of the hospitals or health systems with which they have contractual or financial arrangements….”
  5. Peer Review- “Peer review of employed physicians should be conducted independently of and without interference from any human resources activities of the employer."
  6. Payment Agreements- “Although they typically assign their billing privileges to their employers, employed physicians or their chosen representatives should be prospectively involved if the employer negotiates agreements for them for professional fees, capitation or global billing, or shared savings.”

To review the six principles and their definitions in total, please reference the AMA link below:

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