Which is better an independent practice or a group practice?

 Erika Regulsky Tags: , , , Practice Management

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Medical practices team up to face the odds stacked against them!

Independent medical practices across the country are finding it more difficult than ever before to keep the lights on. With burgeoning costs and regulatory pressures an increasing number of independent practices are forced to go off the grid. Expensive software upgrades, draconian reimbursement cuts and confounding healthcare reforms, are elbowing out small privately owned medical practices.

The healthcare landscape is seeing an interesting trend. Private medical practices are gravitating towards the group practice model. As staying independent becomes a constant struggle and being hospital employees is seen as a comedown of sorts, running a group practice is a viable model.

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There is strength in numbers!

Group practices have several distinct advantages over other models. Here is why group medical practices are here to stay.

  • The ability to stay independent without shouldering the entire responsibility of running a private practice.
  • The administrative overhead of each member is reduced thus bringing down operational expenses.
  • There is increased competitiveness and more power while negotiating tricky payer contracts!
  • Expand and include other specialties and ancillary services to increase profitability and provide more wholesome services to patients.
  • Shared risks and pooling of capital resources mean more freedom from financial burdens.

But it is not all gravy!

Despite the edge that group medical practices have there are certain disadvantages that can pose a huge challenge to the running of group medical practices. And the biggest roadblock is the decentralization of workflow. The revenue cycle of a medical practice is made of several diverse components and the revenue cycle of several medical practices grouped together, can bring about widespread chaos.

Working with a single medical billing system or vendor can centralize the revenue cycle of group medical practices and lead to greater financial transparency. Managing finances despite the uncertainty of Medicare rates is another tripwire. Group medical practices should negotiate payer reimbursement strongly before signing on the dotted line.

To share a single EHR system that is capable of handling the documentation and practice management requirements of multiple practices and specialties can also help in centralizing workflow and bringing down costs.

In an environment of declining reimbursement and high operational costs, running a group medical practice is the best solution for physicians. It offers the best of both worlds and is the best bet for a stable financial future in today’s shifting healthcare landscape.




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I’m a multi-certified revenue cycle management professional and compliance officer with 20+ years of experience. I contribute articles to leading healthcare publications and journals. I am currently working as Senior Transition Manager, in BillingParadise headquartered at Diamond bar, California. BillingParadise offers Medical Billing Services that intersect perfectly with the EMR/Practice management system you use.BillingParadise has offices in New Jersey, New York, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, and Texas.

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