Want to improve the future of medicine?
Be on the lookout, because a new research center backed by the Physicians Foundation and Weill Cornell Medicine might reach out to you for help.
The nonprofit Physicians Foundation — which generates the biennial Survey of America’s Physicians — announced this week the formation of the Physicians Foundation Center for the Study of Physician Practice and Leadership. The center, made possible by a grant from the foundation, is a collaboration with New York-based Weill Cornell, a highly regarded medical school and research institution.
The foundation has seen both time with patients and physician autonomy fall victim to the “mounting administrative and regulatory burdens” doctors across the nation deal with, Physicians Foundation President Walker Ray, MD, said in a news release. Over the next five years, the center will document those challenges and identify new approaches to drive change.
Weill Cornell faculty will make up the center’s core team, and Lawrence Casalino, MD, chief of the division of health policy and economics, will direct the center’s activities. The organization also will have an advisory council of health care experts from diverse fields, according to the release.
In an interview with Texas Medicine, Dr. Casalino said the center’s research methods will include interviews, surveys, and analysis of both Medicare and commercial claims data. Researchers already have begun some work, he said, including an upcoming study examining private-equity purchases of physician practices.
“We are going to want to try to look at performance of practices in different settings: independent vs. hospital-owned vs. private equity-owned; large/small; multi-specialty/single-specialty; possibly urban/rural,” Dr. Casalino said. “One of our key activities is to put together a large data core that will enable us to do those kinds of analyses. It’s actually pretty hard to link physicians to practices to who owns those practices. Several places around the country are trying to do that. We’ll be one of them, and this grant will make it possible for us to do that in a way that we really couldn’t otherwise.”
Physicians and practices can help the center simply by being open, if approached, to be part of its research, he said. “When we get in touch with them and ask them to fill out a survey or be interviewed, it’d be great if they said, ‘Yes.’”