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How to determine the need for MDs by specialty.

THE FISCAL INCENTIVES INHERENT IN MANAGED CARE, and the desire by medical groups and hospitals to protect their income, will force them to commit to more detailed analyses of their physician manpower needs by clinical specialty. These reports will recommend, depending on the clinical discipline, whether to add physicians or close their medical staffs to other doctors. Undertaking such studies are more critical than ever before, due to the increasing supply of qualified specialists seeking hospital privileges and the growth in enrollment of HMOs and other similar arrangements.

Although past debates about appropriate medical staff credentialing frequently related to "due process," the focus of these discussions are predicted to shift in the future toward the numbers--whether the hospital has an inadequate, sufficient, or excess number of physicians available by specialty to appropriately serve its community. Or, to a somewhat similar question of whether an HMO has the suitable number of doctors by specialty in its closed panel to appropriately meet the patient care needs of its subscribers.

Most hospitals in the United States historically have opted for an open medical staff policy and have extended privileges to any qualified physician. However, there are substantive arguments to suggest several advantages of a closed staff by specialty:

(a) to enhance the quality of patient care in a community by reducing unnecessary services (particularly in a fee-for-service environment) that might be generated by a doctor who has less than a sufficiently busy practice to generate his or her projected income;

(b) to permit the members of the medical staff and its related facility to profit by minimizing the number of readily available competitors (e.g., conspiring to restrain trade in violation of Section I of the Sherman Antitrust Act).

Do more doctors generate more admissions?

A topic of considerable interest has been whether by simply adding more physicians to a hospital's medical staff that this action will generate significant increases in the facility's admissions, and emergency department and other ambulatory care visits. Conventional wisdom suggests that the more practicing physicians per 1,000 persons available, the more hospital admissions and outpatient visits should be forthcoming--thereby bringing about increases in the organization's revenue stream.

An earlier study (1) proposed that when there was more than one physician per 625 service area residents, utilization rates for inpatient, emergency, and referred ambulatory care services tended to level off or decrease. The explanation was that when competition for patients among physicians heats up, doctors offer a broader spectrum of services in their own offices. A pertinent example is more primary care doctors now offering early evening office hours rather than referring their HMO patients, who call after 4:00 p.m., to the hospital's emergency department. Therefore, additional research could confirm that once a minimum "sufficient" number of physicians are available to meet the patient care needs of a specific service area population, it could well be to the fiscal advantage of the local doctors and the hospital to limit the number of MDs available.

Dynamics of physician manpower projections

An oversupply of physicians in most areas of the United States has caused a heating up of competition among MDs, and among doctors and hospitals for ambulatory care revenues. It has already led to numerous changes related to where and how American health care services are delivered. The increased number of doctor-sponsored ambulatory surgery and imaging centers that opened during the 1980s illustrates how physicians are more actively competing with hospitals for third-party reimbursement. In the 1990s, the tremendous growth in managed care enrollment has curtailed provider revenues in additional ways by placing a damper on the demand for specialty physician services and hospital inpatient utilization. (2,3)

Based on the assumptions that 40 to 65 percent of all Americans will receive care from integrated managed care networks, and that health services will be reasonably accessible, it was projected that by the turn of the century there will be an overall surplus of about 165,000 patient care physicians in the United States. (4) Furthermore, these estimates suggest that by the year 2000 the demand and supply for primary care physicians can be expected to be in a relative balance, while the supply of specialists will outstrip the requirement needed for these doctors by more than 60 percent.

With the pivotal issues in many communities becoming a growing surplus of doctors and more constrained reimbursement, hospitals have expended additional resources to study their fixed and variable costs by DRG and by physician, so when negotiating with HMOs, these facilities can price their services competitively. By engaging in this process, hospitals determine which specialties and specific physicians generate fiscal surpluses and losses for them, which, in turn, can affect an institution's credentialing process for medical staff privileges.

This current "glut" in the supply of physicians is also creating an increasing concern to doctors, since their disposable income is declining adjusted for the consumer price index. (5) In fact, many physicians are aggressively seeking ways to expand their market share to generate additional revenues. Meanwhile, several types of studies to evaluate the need to add doctors in specific disciplines are receiving higher priority from the senior leadership of various networks, because hospital revenues are so closely tied to the composition, and the admission and utilization patterns, of their medical staffs.

Analysis purposes and limitations

In the sense that physician manpower planning studies must consider the interests of the community foremost, and thereafter its doctors and hospitals, this article outlines an approach used to determine whether a service area of a predetermined size and composition offers an inadequate, sufficient, or excess number of physicians by clinical specialty. Although these methodologies or steps described herein are most frequently used by hospitals and medical groups, similar endeavors are employed by managed care plans to conclude whether they have enough, need additional, or could rely on fewer physicians in their panels to appropriately serve their subscribers.

This type of physician manpower analysis is more useful where there are relatively significant disparities between the projected demand and supply within a specific clinical specialty, rather than estimating whether a multi-specialty group, for example, needs an eleventh or twelfth general internist to join their practice. In the latter case, the percent changes in departmental volumes and in productivity per doctor over the last three years might be more critical indicators in this decision-making process than the following methodologies outlined.

Methodologies to determine need

A hospital, medical group, or HMO can utilize several methods to evaluate whether it should decrease or add physicians to its staff. The approaches proposed must be considered in the context of several variables: the region's population growth or decrease; the service area's demographics, not limited to such variables as age and income distribution; the type of third-party reimbursement available to its residents; the clinical resources readily accessible, compared to existing patient case mix; the composition by clinical specialty and by age distribution of the physicians currently practicing in the community; and, any relevant federal and state planning and reimbursement rules and regulations impinging on the community's projected physician manpower needs.

Hospitals (somewhat modified for medical groups and HMOs) use the following methodologies or steps to determine physician needs:

1. Determine the composition, utilization patterns, and cost per case adjusted by case mix intensity of each member of the hospital's existing medical staff and each of its clinical departments and sections

2. Individually interview all key members of the hospital's medical staff and the governing board's officers

3. Mail a questionnaire to each member of the medical staff to inquire whether any physician(s) should be added to 28 or more clinical specialties and subspecialties

4. Calculate the physician-population ratios by clinical specialty using various models. Reaching valid quantitative determinations is a complex process as HMO reimbursement incentives are perceived to result in a decreased demand for all but primary care services.

5. Project which specialties should be open or closed to meet community, hospital, or subscriber needs using data and information gathered, along with reasonable judgment and experience

Step 1: Quantitative analysis

The first step in determining medical staff composition and utilization patterns for a hospital, medical group, or HMO is to collect quantitative data by department and by subspecialty that includes each physician's age; board specialty status; type of appointment; office location by zip code or census tract; and, the number of admissions, patient days, average length of stay, operative procedures, and deliveries during each of the past three years. Most hospitals are able to provide for every physician data on his or her average cost per discharge adjusted by case mix intensity, information that is significant in assessing whether the doctor is a positive or a negative producer in fiscal terms for the health care organization.

This proposed data collection process can be complicated by, say, a four-member single-specialty practice admitting patients to the hospital as a "group," rather than as individual physicians. Even with such limitations, these work sheets should provide an overall profile of the department or subspecialty; often illustrate significant differences in practice patterns among subspecialists in the same clinical discipline; and, frequently provide pertinent trend data that can influence the study's final conclusions and recommendations.

Summarizing these departmental and subspecialty data for the most current year and then preparing a quartile analysis (i.e., those physicians responsible for the first 25 percent, 50 percent, and 75 percent) by admissions, patient days, deliveries, and operative procedures can pinpoint which departments and physicians generate high or low utilization. From a hospital's prospective, it is highly desirable that there be a large number of physicians responsible for 50 percent or more of the facility's admissions and operative procedures.

Each doctor within the medical staff must be evaluated in terms of full-time equivalents (FTEs) to determine physician-population ratios. It is critical to accurately estimate what might be considered the number of FTE physicians available in a department or subspecialty. Gaining agreement that there are, for example, 5.5 FTE orthopedic surgeons at the hospital is generally straightforward at the beginning of the study, before the possible implications to the individual practitioners of such an approximation are fully known.

Step 2: Personal interviews

To determine whether there are too many, just enough, or too few physicians by clinical specialty, 15- to 30-minute interviews should be conducted with all key doctors who might be directly affected by the study's findings and recommendations. Interviews with each officer of the hospital's governing board and some local industrial leaders can be critical in successfully formulating most physician development plan studies, since they can offer a broader overview of where there may be actual or perceived deficiencies in the community's overall health delivery system.

Most frequently, a physician interviewee will say at the outset that there are enough specialists or subspecialists in his or her discipline in the region. Surgeons often believe that there are neither enough internists nor family practitioners available, while those in medically-oriented disciplines often suggest that additional surgeons are needed.

On the basis of these interviews, almost unanimous agreement is frequently reached that in one or more disciplines either a new clinical subspecialty needs to be established or one to two more physicians in a specific discipline must be added. The latter is often evidenced by the comment that existing doctors in a clinical discipline appear to experience an excess workload--delays in meeting consultation requests and patients being required to wait six to eight weeks for a routine appointment in these physicians' offices.

A summary of these interviews should be sent to the hospital's Chief Executive Officer, President/Chief of the Medical Staff, the Vice President of Medical Affairs, the Governing Board President, and possibly others for review and comment. This process should further ensure the reliability of the information gathered. Thereafter, this summary of interviews should be distributed to members of the hospital's medical executive committee, since this document can be of potential immediate use in their programmatic, service, and physician manpower planning efforts.

Step 3: Physician questionnaires

To gauge the entire medical staff's perceptions of the number and type of physicians needed at the hospital, the third step is for a questionnaire to be mailed to each medical staff member, preferably with a cover letter from the Chief of Staff/President. With a relatively short questionnaire covering 20 to 35 medical specialties, respondents are asked whether there are enough, too many, or too few doctors in each specialty and subspecialty. A quantitative analysis of the results of those questionnaires returned can be illustrated by using a +1.000 (high priority) to -1.000 (low priority) "need value." A 65 to 85 percent response rate can be expected from this confidential approach. This inquiry also has positive public relations and political value, and almost always validates the information obtained from the interviews.

Step 4: Physician-population ratios

It is possible to calculate physician-population ratios by clinical discipline having previously determined: (a) the hospital's service area (defined herein as the total population served by the hospital or the medical group, adjusted by a percentage of its market penetration in that area); and, (b) the previously estimated FTEs available in the hospital or medical group by clinical specialty.

This methodology makes a few underlying assumptions such as: the hospital's service area population (e.g., 200,000 persons in region and a facility has a 50 percent market share equals a 100,000 service area population) is comparable to the number of individuals in the community served by the physicians on the hospital's medical staff; and, the physician-population ratios used are neutral in terms of such variables as population density, the age distribution of the patient population, the level of physician productivity, the type of third-party coverage available, and patient incomes being near the national mean.

The appropriate model and physician-population ratios that a hospital might select when establishing its physician development plan has evolved over the last several decades. Early sources used for these purposes were simply estimates provided by specialty groups based on a number of variables unique to that clinical discipline. A far broader reference extensively utilized in the 1980's to determine MD manpower needs, which was predicated on needs- and demand-based workforce projections, was the findings and recommendations of the Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee (GMENAC) report. (6)

Most recent studies, (7-9) primarily based on the experiences of staff- or group- HMOs or the use of benchmarking techniques in regions where there is a high or low penetration of managed care, have reduced earlier estimates of the total number of physicians needed to serve a given population and have placed a higher priority on training and recruiting more primary care physicians. The reasons for this shift need some explanation: Demand-based planning simply extrapolates future physician utilization levels from the current one and then estimates supply requirements accordingly.

Concurrently using both needs- and demand-based workforce projections can be more accurate, since this approach allows for modifications in terms of potential changes in workloads by specialty; the effects of the fiscal incentives inherent in managed care; and, the increased use of non-physician extenders, such as physician assistants.

By contrast, benchmarking compares the present physician supply in a specific service area with different geographic regions or with a more circumscribed, organized health care system (e.g., HMO or health network) that has a distinctive staffing pattern. Geographic benchmarking, which is based on physician-hospital referral patterns, also allows for the analysis of a "clinically relevant" doctor supply as this methodology derives its data base from the actual use patterns for specific physician services.

For a service area population of 100,000 persons, Table 1 provides a comparison by clinical specialty of the number of physicians:

* (a) currently available in the United States (Table I, Model A)

* (b) estimates of need reported in the GMENAC study (Model B)

* (c) the staffing of a large HMO with 2.4 million subscribers (Model C)

* (d) the staffing in the Minneapolis region with its high HMO penetration (Model D)

* (e) the staffing in Wichita, Kansas, where there is a low managed care market penetration (Model E)

In many ways, these five models provide a hospital, physician group, or HMO with some flexibility to match up their objectives and environment with a range of doctor staffing patterns from national averages (185.0 MDs/100,000) to those used in a far more restricted HMO environment (138.4 MDs/100,000).

In utilizing one or more of these five models, the findings that follow could have a significant affect on a physician development plan's final recommendations for a specific hospital, medical group, or HMO:

1. There are significantly more physicians per 100,000 persons now available (Model A) than were previously projected as needed in the 1980 GMENAC study (Model B). The GMENAC study missed its mark with its assumption concerning the entry of international medical graduates into America's graduate medical education pool--many of whom eventually practice in the United States. The difference between the conservative GMENAC forecast of 1,350 new international physicians per year and today's figure of 6,900 new doctors from overseas "is roughly equivalent to the annual output of 44 medical schools, each graduating 125 new physicians per year." (10)

2. Several earlier HMO studies (11-14) reported in the range of 120 to 130 MDs per 100,000 persons, slightly less than used in Model C. Whether this finding is related to HMOs selecting the more favorable risks, their not including outside or part-time physicians in their FTE calculations, or their heavy reliance on physician assistants and nurse practitioners needs further research. The large HMO (Model C) staff have significantly less primary care physicians, particularly family practitioners, than the other models depicted in this analysis.

The overall evidence is that closed- and staff-type HMOs tend to use general internists rather than family practitioners as their "gatekeepers." Although nationally there are slightly more family practitioners than general internists available (Model A), the Kaiser plan uses almost twice the number with a background in general internal medicine than those more broadly trained in family medicine per 100,000 subscribers. (15)

3. Contrary to the conclusions discussed earlier are the recently published findings from two large (totaling 613,354 subscribers), mature staff-model HMOs (Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound in the Seattle area and Group Health, Inc., of Health Partners in the Minneapolis area) to determine precise specialty specific physician staffing ratios to see whether these managed care plans use fewer physicians than the fee-for-service sector. (16) These two HMOs provided on the average an equivalent of 180 physicians per 100,000 enrollees, which is consistent with the national average (Model A) and far above figures that typically are reported in the literature for managed care plans (Model C).

The major reason for this difference being that these two plans use 173.1 percent more family practitioners per 100,000 enrollees than the 2.5 million subscriber HMO illustrated by Model C. These data suggest that as a greater portion of America's population migrates to managed care (e.g., those eligible for Medicare and Medicaid), HMO physician staffing may come to resemble, in terms of MD use patterns, more closely the traditional fee-for-service sector than is currently envisioned for managed care, except for the greater use of generalist physicians and physician extenders.

HMO subscriber utilization patterns might eventually illustrate an even greater number of generalist and fewer specialist physician visits per annum, and less high-technology diagnostic testing and therapeutic procedures somewhat similar to those patient care approaches experienced in the quasi-private, quasi-public German health care system. (17) What is worrisome about these recent findings is that recent warnings of a physician oversupply in the United States and the recommended severe corrective remedies could actually be somewhat exaggerated. However, there is uniform support to the view that specialist surpluses can continue to be expected unless these training programs are curtailed. (18-21)

4. Increased enrollment in HMOs with capitated payment will result in intensifying what we already recognize nationwide as a "glut" of specialists. There are more than twice the number of general surgeons available per 100,000 persons in the United States (Model A) than are utilized by the large HMO with 2.4 million subscribers (Model C). Also, managed care plans staff with significantly fewer psychiatrists than are generally available in the fee-for-service environment.

5. The Minneapolis region (Model E), which is lauded for its high managed care market penetration, has more physicians per 100,000 persons than might have been forecasted--20.7 percent more than the HMO model (C) and even 16 percent more than the Wichita fee-for-service environment.

6. Finally, there is considerable disparity among the ratios within a number of clinical disciplines when comparing one model to another, which in some cases could be related to an interchange of skills (e.g., many medical subspecialists now spend a significant amount of time practicing general internal medicine).

Regardless of the possible limitations in using a physician-population ratio-type analysis (e.g., due the age distribution of the population, being a tertiary referral center), this methodology in most studies replicates the general findings of the interviews and questionnaires. It also provides one additional source of information when arriving at specific conclusions and recommendations. Implementing a physician development study based only on physician-population ratios and not on the information obtained from other methods (Steps 1-3) outlined herein, could well lead any organization to make serious mistakes in its MD manpower planning efforts.

Step 5: Composite summary

Having completed the four methodologies, the hospital or medical group should develop a summary by clinical discipline (Table 2) that outlines the study's major findings and recommendations. After this report has been reviewed by the organization's trustees and then either approved as submitted or modified, it should serve as the hospital's physician development plan. This study should then be used to guide any additions or modifications in appointments to the facility's medical staff in the future.

In tackling the question of how many active staff members by clinical discipline a hospital should have, the trustees' foremost consideration should be to meet community health care needs. The second criteria is to resolve the deficits by clinical discipline that have been confirmed by at least three of the four methodologies. Table 2 illustrates that there is one hematologist/oncologist, who is the second most active practitioner in terms of patient days. There is also agreement on the basis of interviews, questionnaires, and the physician-population ratios that a second medical oncologist is needed. The medical staff and the hospital must join forces to recruit potentially qualified candidates to fill such deficits, where there is overwhelming evidence that a physician need exists.

The next priority might center on potentially tampering with the geographic distribution of the primary care physicians' offices. Recommendations to add a primary care physician can be made on the basis of locating the doctor's office on the periphery of the hospital's service area in order to increase the facility's market penetration. There could be some doubt about whether the courts would uphold such a recommendation, but a positive finding on location should encourage most young internists to locate an office in a specific geographic area where there is an obvious need for their services.

A hospital could also often justify adding another physician to its active staff, when an existing practitioner nears the age of 65. This determination could be based on older physicians usually expressing more interest in leisure time and often are less familiar with recent advances in medicine.

When the hospital's clinical strengths and utilization patterns suggest that several single or multi-specialty groups are the backbone of the institution, the analyses and the development of appropriate recommendations as described earlier can become more politically intricate. The most frequent issue relates to a large primary care group desiring to add specialty members to its staff to meet its own, rather than the hospital or the community's needs. Another problem is an increasing number of hospitals experiencing HMO subscribers who must change doctors in order to be admitted to the facility of their choice.

How to potentially avoid legal sanctions

By annually updating recommendations on the number of physicians required by clinical discipline to meet community needs, a medical staff and its hospital is able to adjust its pool of doctors appropriately. Once the governing board has approved a physician development plan, the hospital must still follow due process in evaluating physicians for a medical staff appointment and be able to justify its physician staffing decisions to ensure the integrity of its credentialing process and avoid adverse court decisions.

The legality of a hospital's closed medical staff by specialty will continue to be challenged in the courts and the methodologies described in this article--and each possible contentious case--must be reviewed with the organization's counsel. Those areas that can be expected to generate the most legal controversies include: Whether a broad spectrum of managed care plans will use family practitioners or internists and pediatricians as their prime "gatekeepers;" whether, in the long-run, the fiscal incentives inherent in managed care will result in a more frugal utilization of physician services; how much demographic factors, type of reimbursement coverage available, and scope of provider resources have an impact on the need for physicians by specialty specific within a defined service area.

However, a hospital policy that accepts qualified applicants in specific disciplines and has chosen, based on reasonable criteria, not to provide applications for an appointment in other specialties, has been considered by the courts, in most states, as being in a defensible position.
TABLE 1 PROJECTED NUMBER OF PHYSICIANS (FTEs) NEEDED BY SPECIALTY
BASED ON 100,000 PERSONS AND USING VARIOUS MODELS

Specialty US GMENAC HMO
 Model A Model B Model C

Primary care -- -- --
Family practice 31.9 33.3 15.6
General internal 25.4 27.8 26.3
 medicine
Pediatrics 14.2 12.0 11.1
Medical subspecialties -- -- --
Allergy 1.2 0.8 0.9
Cardiology 5.3 3.1 2.6
Dermatology 2.7 2.7 2.1
Endocrinology 0.9 0.8 0.8
Gastroenterology 2.6 2.6 2.8
Hematology/ 2.1 3.6 2.2
 oncology
Infectious disease 0.7 0.9 0.8
Nephrology 1.2 1.1 1.1
Neurology 2.9 2.2 2.2
Pulmonary medicine 2.0 1.4 0.9
Rheumatology 1.0 0.7 1.2
Surgical specialties -- -- --
Obstetrics/gynecology 12.4 9.6 11.5
General surgery 11.8 9.4 5.1
Neurosurgery 1.5 1.1 0.5
Ophthalmology 6.1 4.7 5.1
Orthopedic surgery 7.1 6.1 5.1
Otolaryngology 2.9 3.2 3.4
Plastic surgery 1.7 1.1 0.7
Thoracic surgery 0.8 0.8 0.8
Urology 3.4 3.1 3.2
Hospital-based specialties -- -- --
Anesthesiology 10.0 8.4 9.0
Emergency medicine 9.4 5.4 6.2
Pathology 4.6 5.4 5.3
Psychiatry 13.1 15.3 3.3
Radiology 6.1 7.1 8.6
Total 185.0 173.7 138.4

Specialty Wichita MN
 Model D Model E

Primary care -- --
Family practice 29.0 34.2
General internal 23.4 27.3
 medicine
Pediatrics 13.1 14.1
Medical subspecialties -- --
Allergy 0.7 1.3
Cardiology 3.5 4.4
Dermatology 1.4 2.8
Endocrinology 0.8 0.8
Gastroenterology 1.3 1.9
Hematology/ 1.2 2.3
 oncology
Infectious disease 0.8 0.8
Nephrology 1.1 1.1
Neurology 2.1 2.5
Pulmonary medicine 1.4 1.6
Rheumatology 0.4 0.8
Surgical specialties -- --
Obstetrics/gynecology 8.4 9.2
General surgery 9.6 9.1
Neurosurgery 0.9 1.3
Ophthalmology 3.5 5.6
Orthopedic surgery 5.9 7.7
Otolaryngology 2.0 2.4
Plastic surgery 1.1 0.7
Thoracic surgery 0.8 0.8
Urology 2.6 2.7
Hospital-based specialties -- --
Anesthesiology 7.0 8.0
Emergency medicine 2.7 4.4
Pathology 4.1 4.3
Psychiatry 7.2 9.9
Radiology 8.0 5.1
Total 144.0 167.1

Note: In Models D & E, some estimates were made when insufficient
detailed information was available

--Sources: Graduate Medical Education Advisory Committee. Report of the
Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee to the
Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services, Vol.1. Washington,
D.C.: Office of Graduate Medical Education, Health Resources
Administration, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, 1980; Weiner, J.P. Forecasting the Effects of Health
Reform on U.S. Physician Workforce Requirement. Evidence from HMO
Staffing Patterns." Journal of the American Medical Association
272(3):222-230; and Goodman, D.C. et al. "Benchmarking the U.
Physician Workforce. An Alternative to Needs-Based or Demand-Based
Planning." Journal of the American Medical Association 276(22):
1811-1817, December 11, 1996; and, Bedford Health Associates, Inc.,
February 1997.

TABLE 2 Abbreviated summary of major findings of a community hospital

 Department/ Current Quantitative Personal
 section full-time data Interviews
 equivalent

Anesthesiology 4 No significant Sufficient
 comments available

Emergency 6 Average Replacement
medicine age is 54.6 with emergency
 department
 specialists

Allergy/ 2 Low hospital Medium priority
Immunology utilization; for Immunologist
 ages range from
 38 to 48

Cardiology 9 Average age is Surrounded with
 43.8; hospital major defini-
 utilization tional questions
 less in 1982
 than 1981

Dermatology 3 Minimal Sufficient
 hospital utili- available
 zation

Endocrinology 1 Hospital utili- Medium priority
 zation for second-
 increasing opinion and less
 complex cases

Gastroenterology 3 Hospital Sufficient
 utilization available
 decreasing;
 ages range from
 37 to 44

Hematology/ 1 Second most High priority -
Oncology active practi- one active
 tioner on staff physician must
 be added
 immediately

Infectious 1 Has active Sufficient
Disease practice at available
 age 35

Internal Medicine/ 23 12 of 23 FTEs Need additional
General are 50 or internists on
 older, five of outskirts of
 23 FTEs are 62 hospital's
 or older; current services
 hospital area; sufficient
 utilization available
 decreasing elsewhere
 significantly

 Department/ "Need" Comments
 section value from
 questionnaire

Anesthesiology .125 --

Emergency .180 --
medicine

Allergy/ 097 --
Immunology .311

Cardiology -.706 Need
 invasive
 procedures

Dermatology .070 --

Endocrinology .239 Need for
 alternative
 opinion

Gastroenterology -.040 --

Hematology/ .405 Need for
Oncology .630 second
 oncologist

Infectious .072 --
Disease

Internal Medicine/ .000 Need for
General more primary
 care-type
 physicians

 Department/ Physician-to- Recommended
 section population ratio FTEs

Anesthesiology Two additional 4
 needed

Emergency Not applicable 6
medicine because based
 on emergency
 department volume

Allergy/ Two adequate 2
Immunology

Cardiology Surplus based 9 *
 on current
 definitions

Dermatology Surplus of one 3

Endocrinology One adequate 1

Gastroenterology Adequate number 3

Hematology/ Three required 2
Oncology

Infectious Adequate number 1
Disease

Internal Medicine/ Need for more 26
General general
 internists/family
 practitioners

* These FTE cardiologists are sufficient, any excess cardiologists
could be added to 26 general internists required,for a total of 32

--Bedford Health Associates, Inc.


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(17.) Weil, T.P., and Brenner, G. "Physician and Other Ambulatory Care Services in Germany." Journal of Ambulatory Care Management 20(1):77-91, January 1997.

(18.) Institute of Medicine. The Nation's Physician Workforce Options for Balancing Supply and Requirements. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1996.

(19.) Gamliel, S., Politzer, R.M., Rivo, M.L., and Mullan, F. "Managed Care on the March: Will Physicians Meet the Challenge?" Health Affairs 15(1):131-142, Spring 1996.

(20.) Pew Health Professions Commission. "Critical Challenges Revitalizing the Health Professions for the Twenty-first Century." Third Report. San Francisco: Pew Health Professions Commission, 1995.

(21.) Council on Graduate Medical Education. "COGME 1995 Physician Workforce Funding Recommendations for Department of Health and Human Services Programs." Seventh Report. Rockville, Maryland: HRSA, 1995.

Thomas P. Weil, PhD, is President of Bedford Health Associates, Inc., Management Consultants for Health and Hospital Services, in Asheville, North Carolina. He can be reached at 704/252-1616 or via fax at 704/253-3820.
COPYRIGHT 1997 American College of Physician Executives
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Medicinae Doctor
Author:Weil, Thomas P.
Publication:Physician Executive
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 1997
Words:5765
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