Concierge Practice Vs. Hospital Practice is No Contest
Today’s healthcare structure is putting many physicians in a tough position. Doctors, particularly ones with private practices, are finding it difficult to survive. As a result, some are turning to hospitals to run their practices, and are willing to sacrifice the business that they’ve spent years building, just to be paid on salary by a hospital. While this may seem like the only, or most lucrative, option, it is not. Here are a few reasons why:
- Many physicians don’t realize that hospital-based practices are subject to the same reimbursement cuts as independent physicians.
- Net billings decrease, as hospital agreements are based on patient billings, rather than patient volume. This means doctors have to work longer and harder to take home more.
- With the implementation of ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations), hospitals want to capture as many patient “bodies” as they can and absorb a greater share of the money available. They do this by slashing costs, and ultimately, driving down the standard of care. In a way, hospitals are using physicians and their patients to maximize profits.
- Doctors cost more than nurse practitioners or physicians assistants, so often times, doctors in hospitals are used to supervise, rather than see patients (andultimately build relationships). In this case, doctors will always be inherently cost-inefficient vs. a mid-level.
- Control is often lost when a practice is moved to a hospital, which can lead to a doctor’s lack of innovation and entrepreneurship.
A physician considering moving his practice to a hospital is most likely attempting to simplify his/her condition, stabilize his/her income, get a handle on his/her work flow and take advantage of the equity he/she may have in his/her patient base. Instead, the doctor’s status remains unpredictable and unstable when operating under a hospital practice.
On the other hand, SignatureMD’s version of concierge medicine offers doctors the opportunity to see fewer patients, make more money, remain stable and avoid risk. SignatureMD acts as the doctor’s legal, marketing, operational and regulatory managers, absorbing much of the risk involved when transitioning a practice. SignatureMD is the doctors’ advocate and wants to see independent physicians thrive, not just survive.
With offices in Los Angeles, California and Richmond, Virginia, SignatureMD (signaturemd.com) is one of the nation’s largest firms providing initial conversion and ongoing support services to concierge medicine physicians. SignatureMD currently partners with more than 160 affiliated primary care physicians and specialists across 31 states, and its network is rapidly expanding.