HealthLeaders-InterStudy, the leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that local Jacksonville health systems are taking advantage of market opportunities to develop medical office buildings and outpatient centers in suburban areas. According to the latest Jacksonville Market Overview, a population explosion is driving these expansions and closely aligned physician groups are emerging as important expansion components.
"Hospital systems have been aggressively competing to build as new communities spring up," states Margaret Dick, senior market analyst for HealthLeaders-InterStudy and author of the report. "Aligning with physician groups is a key tactic to developing a consistent patient stream for these new facilities."
Although new hospital construction is hobbled by a lengthy state approval and appeal process, financially sound local hospital systems are using medical office buildings and outpatient facilities to stake out new markets. Hospitals are expected to tighten their relationships with physicians through practice ownership and partnerships in these new facilities. These arrangements provide hospitals with a broader geographic presence and a more dependable patient stream, while physicians benefit from a new revenue source and often gain access to capital and technology. That is particularly important as quality ratings and pay-for-performance programs often include an electronic component.
Mayo Clinic, Shands Jacksonville and Baptist Health are tightly aligned with the three largest physician organizations in the area, and now St. Vincent's HealthCare has acquired several groups and has plans to acquire even more. These arrangements are an attractive option for Jacksonville physicians, who tend to be organized into small practices with virtually no contracting power.
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