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Physician Recruiting for the AMC 'Hub and Spoke' Model

Academic Health Centers now accept as a given in the new healthcare environment, the need to increase the number of patients to grow their higher-margin clinical revenues. To enhance patient volume, consultants have advised AMCs to expand their network or the “pipeline” that directs patients to the AMC. Rural community hospitals will direct the flow of patients with the most acute conditions to the “hub” Academic Health Center in the region. Not only will AMCs benefit economically – because they will be treating acute, high revenue patients – but also, the healthcare market will function more efficiently due to an equal supply and demand.

The situation described above is an ideal situation. But, what if, the healthcare market in a particular region did not function in this capacity because the area’s AMC could not supply the care? It would be a lose-lose situation. On the demand side, the patient would lose because they do not have access to geographically available highly-specialized care. And on the supply side, the AMC in the region would be losing revenue on a sizeable population. This would not be an issue for a health center in a large metropolitan city with equal supply and demand. It would be a problem for smaller cities in the US, generally concentrated in the Midwestern or Southern regions of the United States. Nonetheless, AMCs in these regions still need to, and want to provide care, and if it is the case that they are experiencing a supply/demand market inefficiency, physician recruiting is a solution for AMCs in fixing this inefficiency.

Now to complete the example with the help of physician recruiting. Picture an area with a catchment population of 5 million people and one easily accessible AMC for that population of 5 million. This population inordinately suffers from any one given public health problem, which necessitates a high-level of treatment that an AMC can provide. But, if the AMC is not able to provide adequate treatment, the above situation transpires. Given that the AMC was prescient in anticipating the demand for this health condition, they consulted with a physician recruiting firm to find highly qualified physicians, thus becoming a recognized leader in the treatment of that particular condition.

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