It’s no secret that physicians across the country are struggling to remain independent. More than ever before, doctors are leaving their independent practices to join larger groups and hospitals – and anesthesiologists are no exception.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. The right tools and support make it possible for anesthesia practices to retain their independence and have flourishing practices. Anesthesiologists are making internal structural changes and building partnerships to increase their financial stability and reduce the pressure to sell out.
Maintain control over your practice and your life with the right financial partner.
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The Current Healthcare Environment
Healthcare consolidation is happening at a rapid pace as hospitals continue to gobble up smaller independent anesthesia practices. More than ever before, physicians are becoming employees of larger healthcare organizations instead of owning their practices and being self-employed.
Practices are succumbing to consolidation due to increased regulation, declining reimbursement, and the mental challenge of making it all work. Getting bought out can seem like a safe option with a feeling of increased job security and organizational support. While it may seem like an uphill battle to hold onto your independent anesthesia practice, we find that independent physicians are living happier lives and making more money than industry averages.
Consolidation is occurring at a rapid rate – but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your practice.
Why You Should Remain Independent
Here’s why independent anesthesia practices should put in the effort to hold onto their independence:
- Practice leadership: With an independent anesthesia group practice you have control in determining how things get done. When small practices get absorbed by larger groups, they often promise autonomy and decision-making power but rarely follow through on those agreements.
- Operations: Similar to having a say in practice leadership, you also have an influence when it comes to operational decisions like compensation, retirement plans, vacation and leave policies, scheduling, use of other staff, etc.
- Hospital contract negotiations: Negotiating a mutually beneficial contract for your group with your facilities is critical to ensuring adequate compensation and desirable scheduling. You want this negotiation to happen directly with your group, rather than through an executive who may not have your best interest in mind.
- Job security: Working as a provider in an independent anesthesia practice gives you protection from being arbitrarily fired. A supermajority vote is typically required among members to remove anyone from the practice. In contrast, when you work for a larger group you could be let go for a variety of reasons.
It’s all about who you want in control. Would you rather have disconnected individuals making critical decisions? Or a peer who understands your point of view?
How to Remain Independent
There are some steps you can take to hold onto your independence:
- Find the right partner: The right partner will provide you with tools and services to optimize practice operations. This optimization helps to increase revenue, which ensures financial stability and lessens the pressure to sell. A partner will be able to support you with services like billing, practice management, contract negotiation, scheduling, reporting, etc.
- Improve operations: In addition to getting support from a partner, you also want to improve operations by creating and executing a strategic plan, establishing group governance, and, growing your business through single-specialty mergers.
Find the Right Partner for Your Independent Anesthesia Practice
Deep diving into your business and finding the right partner are critical to holding onto your independent anesthesia practice. By understanding how your practice operates, you can make changes to improve your financial stability and alleviate the pressure of selling out. Working with a partner to deep dive into your business and financial metrics is a great place to start. Once they have a better understanding of the internal workings of your organization, your partner can help you implement additional strategies to secure your independence.
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Want to know more about maintaining your practice independence? Download the comprehensive eBook: Group Independence: A Fusion Anesthesia Action Guide