The Modern-day Solo Medical Practice needs more than just a Technology


Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

The bureaucracy around healthcare and the ever-increasing administrative burden is not alien to any medical expert. Analogous to that, Physician burnout, patient dissatisfaction is also amidst the exponentially increasing trend in the United States. Notwithstanding its crushing problem here, yet it has not spared physicians in other countries. Of course, the spectrum of contemporary healthcare challenges contrasts somewhat depending socioeconomic and political milieu of the given country. Nevertheless, all share a common denominator; i.e., in almost all cases, independent medical practices are suffering enormously.

Over the last couple of decades healthcare community, more so independent physicians, have looked into finding conducts to maintain efficiency, compliance, quality, and sovereignty. They have desperately done so by acquiring technologies, hiring consultants, and even consolidating with other independent medical practices. All in all, they could not sustain the balance between cost, time, and quality without being overwhelmed and, eventually, “Burnout.” Large Health Systems have been gifted to unilaterally employ the power of the aristocracy, merge technology, strategy, and human power to conquer every aspect of the administrative and regulatory impediment.

For independent Practices to stay on top of the bureaucracy and comply with the top-down government directives, they too should be able to thrive and compete with the large organizations.

One may cynically accept as accurate that the notion of a single physician practice competing with a hospital is farfetched. That is precisely the kind of attitude that has historically forced medical professionals to seek employment instead of maintaining independence and practicing what they do best without interference with clinical judgment.

Many physicians, by trait, aspire to preserve their self-containment, but at the expense of excessive cost loads and administrative weights. Those doctors who endeavor in managed-care systems; are shielded against burdens that independent physicians have to endure. Nevertheless, even those doctors are being driven to the limit by visiting more patients in a restricted time. Overall, this means it is getting more intricate every time to operate an independent medical practice efficiently.

Diagnosing ailment and prescribing a therapy plan by itself is enough of a hurdle for any clinician practicing in any environment. Still, for the independent physician, this challenge is simply one of many.

Physicians Partnering with an extensive System

Some domain experts have hypothesized that physician employment compromise dwells in a grey zone. This means that it combines operating for or within a comprehensive network with diverging degrees of independence with limitless prospects in terms of ruling freedom.

On the other hand, a few support setting boundaries while drafting contracts that elect the right fitting. While such arrangements and scenarios certainly sound intriguing to most physicians, the reality is something different. That is, many doctors have been heaved into and lost legal battles with employers who have claimed legal rights on physician revenue from outside business ventures. Still, attracting the right partner or employer and executing the proper agreement in the face of an ever-changing healthcare realm is another burden by itself.

But, still, Independent Doctors are going away

Despite executing the proper legal agreements, it seems like adequate contract preparation has not prevented independent physicians from tumbling into the employment trap. Such a trend confirms that doctors are giving up most, if not all the rights, to their valuable intellectual properties and competitive promises regardless of how they execute the employment contract terms.

Even the Physician Practice Benchmark Survey of 2016, finished by the American medical association (AMA), indicates that fewer than half of entire physicians who render at least 20 hours of patient care per week practiced independently.

The Physicians Foundation’s biannual survey also presented similar findings. Besides, physicians also reported spending over 21% of their time on non-clinical administrative paperwork, representing 168,000 full-time doctors.

Independent Physicians are not well equipped to compete with large Healthcare Systems

The ever-changing medical practice landscape and its accompanying burden associated with it have established an utter environment for what metaphorically label for “survival of the fittest.” Many services delivered in hospitals can often be reliably and conveniently implemented in ambulatory environs. That is why physicians have become proprietors of entities that are directly competing with hospitals for patients. Although there are increasing prospects that health systems call for hospitals and physicians to collaborate, the enthusiasm and energy for larger organizations and physicians to work together is an underdog in many markets.

Optimistically, federal and local leaders hope to enhance patient safety, and quality appropriates a general interest association between medical staff and hospitals.

Improved patient safety envisions the joint use of new health information technology to enhance quality through physician and hospital collaboration. Instead of cooperating to address excessive healthcare spending, physicians and hospitals have refabricated clash that is pressing costs higher and faster, sometimes as collaborators but evermore as competitors.

Undoubtedly, the hospitals and managed care organizations have captured the patient source, which makes physicians dependent. Additionally, organizations hold the reign on being able to utilize resources for optimal reimbursement and administrative initiatives. Irrespective, government intervention has failed to create peace amongst physicians and hospitals yet has placed many boundaries for an impartial collaborative environment.

Hospitals and large Systems need Physicians

Hospitals and systems need a physician strategy and working model that includes diverse arrangements, incentives, engage the physician community, and so on. Organizations need to absorb their physicians in planning and organizing overhauls. Nevertheless, the Physician professional realm is a winding one, as they cannot be lone employees. Physicians must be keepers of the organization’s objectives and strategies, something which corporate cartels will fight to the teeth before letting it prevail. Instead, large entities will make sure to keep the healthcare community dependent and desperate. The latest has been successfully executed through corporate monopoly, governmental lobbyism, combining human resources and technology, along financial consolidation.

Independence or Employment: What is the Cost?

It has been postulated that when large organizations acquire independent physician practices, costs go up, and quality wane. If the acquisition is charitable, populations endure financial harm; as the taxes that independent practice previously used to pay come off the tax rosters.

With physician’s employment still comes burnout- even more frequently than their independent peers.

Today, the suicide rate among physicians is at its highest. On average, one doctor dies by suicide in the United States every day. The corporatization of medicine is a hunk of the predicament. Irrespective of the physician’s demise, corporations continue to take over medical practices for financial gain. The more physicians that large systems own, the further the market portion they apprehend, the more bargaining power they gain!