Randall R. Fearnow quoted in article "Where have all the providers gone?"

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As far as other skilled positions in health care, such as nursing, some experts believe shortage predictions have long been overblown.

“I first started as an attorney in the health arena in 1986,” says Randall Fearnow, a partner at Quarles & Brady, “and I’ve been hearing about the nurse shortage since then. And it never seems to meet the dire predictions of the experts.”

In terms of the projected physician shortage, Fearnow notes that reports of increasing consolidation in the health system via integrated delivery systems and hospitals buying up private practices might be a positive move that could help mitigate or negate a shortage.

“Individual doctors are not often very efficient at what has to be done in the modern age in order to provide care,” Fearnow explains. “They’re good at providing the care, but when it comes to corporate compliance, all of the billing issues, complying with HIPAA and doing all of these other management jobs that don’t come naturally to physicians, it makes sense to have coordinated efforts. So I view the increasing acquisition of physician practices by hospital systems as probably not a bad thing, and probably good for efficiency. There are only so many good administrators to go around, and every three-person group cannot expect to have one.”


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