Autonomy vs. Employment: Concierge Medical Care Can Help Physicians Decide

By Wayne Lipton

If you are an independent physician who either makes the decisions about how your practice is run or how, as a group, your group is run (small to mid-sized groups), then you have some degree of precious autonomy. Outside of in-network considerations, you have some control over who you direct your patient to for additional services and other physician care. You also have some say in the style of care that you deliver. The downside can be, however, that over time larger groups have gotten better reimbursement rates from private payers. As a result, you have a disadvantage that is significant. And larger groups are often better at employing IT solutions and support services. So why not consider selling or merging now?

The answer is simple: You give up the control that you have. And the care that your patients receive may no longer be the same. It has been our experience that every physician who makes the move to a hospital-based employed physician environment is initially happy. The old burdens of running a practice are partially and in some cases completely removed. After a few years where there may be some guarantee of income, it turns into an “eat what you kill” environment, the same one that you probably came from, except now there are now much higher overheads associated with the “management” of the practice. Nothing is for free. In some instances the revenue differential is sufficient to overcome the negatives, but usually this is not the case. And the pressure to see more and more patients grows even stronger in this environment. Or it may be that you send more and more patients to mid-level providers. Sometimes this is good and sometimes not.

So what can you do differently………

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About Concierge Medicine Journal

Concierge Medicine Journal (CMJ) curates breaking concierge medicine news, and editorial opinion on a wide variety of topics relevant to the practice of Concierge Medicine.

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