Why Physician Independence?
Helping people live longer, healthier lives—that’s what you do. You value the ability to chart your own course—and 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, making your job harder.
Healthcare is a large industry filled with large organizations.
Government funds, of one sort or another, pay slightly more than half of the annual $2.3 trillion spent on healthcare. Providing coverage for seniors, the poor, the military and veterans requires the size and scale of government.
A recent spate of mergers and acquisitions has resulted in few very large health plans. Today, the top five insurance companies provide coverage for almost one third of all Americans.
The capital investment required for drug development and distribution mean that almost all pharmaceutical companies are large. The same is generally true for major medical device companies.
Hospitals, long assets committed solely to a local community, are now far more likely to be owned by large healthcare systems, be they for profit or not.
We believe...in the importance of the independent physician practice, not just as a market segment that we can serve, but as the single lynchpin able to bring together the inevitable 'bigness' of healthcare with the ultimately personal nature of patient care.
...individual patients need great independent practices as real options for their healthcare. And we believe the big organizations need the integrating capabilities, and yes, the checks and balances, that only the independent physician can provide.
Yes, mega players dominate the healthcare industry.
There are probably solid economic dynamics that dictate the large size of many organizations in the various segments of healthcare. Probably, at some level, healthcare is destined to have these very large organizations and entities.
Yet, the work of healthcare is as personal and intimate, if not more so, than any other industry in our country.
Patients, people, trust our industry to provide a service that they cherish the most. Often, we provide routine and preventative care, but often we serve our 'customers' at a time of great need and vulnerability. We believe in the importance of the independent physician practice, not just as a market segment that we can serve, but as the single lynchpin able to bring together the inevitable 'bigness' of healthcare with the ultimately personal nature of patient care.
We believe the physician sits in the unique role, able to bring the value of the big hospital, the big pharmaceutical company, the big imaging device maker, and the big insurer all together at a single point for a particular person, the patient.
It has long been observed by watchers of the industry, and lamented by physicians themselves, that doctors should have all of the power in the industry, and would have it were they able to get organized into large organizations like all other parts of the industry. And that is probably true.
Now there is a trend, again, for hospitals to employ physicians. Many argue that the independent physician practice is a thing of the past with no real role in the healthcare industry of the future. We understand that many physicians will elect to align with larger entities and give up their independent status. In fact, some of our clients are hospital-employed physician groups. But clearly, the decision making compass, organizational
culture, and priorities are adjusted, maybe slightly, maybe a lot, but changed none the less.
However, we firmly believe, as citizens and customers of the entire healthcare system, that we are far better off as a country and as individual patients with a healthy, thriving community of independent, physician owned practices. We believe this industry, which naturally tends toward largesse, clearly needs the role that can only be filled by the independent practice. We believe individual patients need great independent practices as real options for their healthcare. And we believe the big organizations need the integrating capabilities, and yes, the checks and balances, that only the independent physician can provide.
Do we believe there is a market opportunity providing business services to the independent physician practice segment? Sure we do and we aim to serve it profitably without apology. But we also truly believe that the real work of our industry cannot be managed in Washington or corporate board rooms, but in the exam room, when a doctor and a patient, together, make the best decisions for that patient and their family.
This declaration of physician independence, as it were, drives what we do.
The service offerings that we provide are collectively focused on helping our clients remain independent and in control of their own destiny.
In addition to the services we provide our clients, we are committed to facilitating and participating in the ongoing dialogue about the importance of the independent physician practice. The blog of our CEO, Tim Coan, focuses squarely on the things that enable, and threaten, physician independence. Our webinar series and the articles we send out from time to time do the same
This is a fight we are going to fight.