Why Independent Physicians

Independent Physicians

Helping people live longer, healthier lives—that’s what you do.

But you also value the ability to make your own decisions about what’s best for your patients and your practice.

Yet every day, running a practice grows more and more complex, threatening the very existence of independent medical groups.

Large Industry; Large Organizations

An industry does not grow to become one-sixth of the total economy without having massive players.

  • Government, in one form or another, pays for slightly more than half of the $2.8 trillion spent on healthcare each year.
  • The top five insurance companies provide coverage for almost one third of all Americans.
  • The extensive capital investment required to manufacture and distribute pharmaceuticals and medical devices mean that almost all of these companies are very large.
  • The majority of hospitals are now owned by large regional or national healthcare systems.

Economic dynamics necessitate the presence of mega players in our industry.

Intimate and Personal

Yet, at its essential core the work of healthcare is exceedingly personal and intimate. Patients trust us to provide a service that they cherish dearly. Some of our work is routine, but often we serve our ‘customers’ at a time of great need and personal vulnerability. Large can feel very impersonal.

We believe the physician sits in a unique role, able to bring together the value of the big hospital, the big pharmaceutical company, the big imaging device maker, and the big insurer at a single point for a particular person at a particular time – the patient.

Importance of Independent Physicians

As our industry goes through a period of rapid transition, there are many that believe only large, integrated delivery systems are suited to deliver the care we need in the future. They argue that the independent physician practice is a thing of the past. We understand this idea and accept that this model will be central to US healthcare moving forward.

However, we could not disagree more with those ready to pronounce the end of the independent physician practice.

  • We firmly believe that we are far better off as a country and as individual patients when we have a healthy, thriving community of independent, physician owned practices.
  • We believe that strong, strategically-minded independent practices are well suited to deliver high quality, cost effective care that aligns with what we need as a society.
  • We believe the tendency toward largesse needs to be balanced by what only independent practices can provide.
  • We believe individual patients need great independent practices as real options for their healthcare.

Yes, this is the market we serve, so we have a dog in the fight. But we truly believe US healthcare is better with independent practices than without. As we seek to reinvent how we deliver and pay for healthcare, we believe that industry reform cannot be managed solely in Washington, state houses, or corporate board rooms. The exam room, when a doctor and a patient together make the best decisions for that patient and their family, is equally important.

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