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By May 1, 2020 June 22nd, 2020 No Comments

In 2012, 56% of physicians owned their practices. Four years later, this number had decreased to 47.1%, making it less than half of practicing physicians in the U.S. holding the ownership of their medical practice in 2016. This decrease is significant in that it marks the first time that the majority of physicians are not practicing as independent business owners. Research indicates that doctors, especially young doctors, have been shifting from owning their practice to joining larger practices as employed physicians.

Ownership and employment shifts reflect the industry’s increasing compliance costs and new payment models. Maintaining the necessary information technology and quality and safety compliance often requires a more extensive asset base to spread costs. Payment reforms like accountable care organizations value an integrated care model, which is why independent physicians have given way to larger systems.

So many physicians have sold their soul to health systems for employment and lost their ability to achieve independence.  So many independent physicians are following in their footsteps while health systems gobble up physicians to expand their market share.

The downward pressure from health systems and payors has created a void that once would have been filled with growth but is now filled with a “wait-and-see” strategies while they attempt to combat these pressures and maintain a clinical practice.  All through the chaos, the national healthcare landscape becomes more unclear, and the only constants are increasing expenses and declining reimbursements.

There is fierce competition from health systems, payors, and private equity aggregators to acquire physician practices or take strong equity positions while providing minimal services to maximize their margins.

Healthwise can guide you through the swamp and jump over the competition with a custom strategy for your specialty practice.

Mark Ackley

Author Mark Ackley

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