An excerpt from our free ebook, Practice Independence: How to Remain Independent During Market Uncertainty. Download the free ebook below!
The Current Environment of Anesthesia Practices:
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, anesthesia practices across the country were struggling to remain independent. The volume and cash flow fluctuations brought on by the pandemic, made that struggle a whole lot worse. According to recent AMA survey data, private practice ownership has declined since 2016 and the pandemic is accelerating the decline. In the beginning of the year only 30 percent of physicians in the US were in private practice and almost 70% were employed by hospital systems or other corporate entities such as private equity firms and health insurers. These staggering facts are key findings in a study released by the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) and conducted by Avalere Health showing that hospital systems and other corporate entities continued to drive consolidation in healthcare by aggressively acquiring physician practices throughout 2019 and 2020, even more so in the last half of 2020.
Maintaining Practice Independence Can be Challenging:
The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated issues that independent practices were already dealing with such as declining reimbursement, increase in payer denials, quality reporting requirements, recruiting and more. Managing the day-to-day operation while continuing to practice medicine can certainly be overwhelming. There’s no question that remaining independent in this healthcare market is challenging and that much of our industry’s news makes consolidation seem inevitable. However, from our perspective, anesthesia providers who are owners in an independent practice are happier in their work, enjoy having control over their retirement – and make significantly more money than their employed counterparts. The right tools and support make it possible for anesthesia practices to retain their independence and flourish. We work with many anesthesia groups that are making internal structural changes and building partnerships to increase their financial stability and reduce the pressure to sell. Maintaining your independence means you maintain control over your compensation and your schedule, and ultimately, your work-life balance.
Why Should You Remain Independent?
The definition of autonomy is a “self-governing state”. Isn’t that the very reason you went into private practice? One of the many benefits of remaining independent is the freedom of governing your own practice. Creating your own schedules, making decisions on how your practice is run and, most importantly, how you collaborate on patient care are core qualities lost with an employed model. If you think there is “strength in numbers” and believe that joining a national group could be the answer, be cautioned. There is a risk to entertaining these conversations – It can open the door for that firm to swoop in and approach your hospital partners and contract directly with them, we’ve seen this on more than one occasion. A group that had an anesthesia contract with their hospital for over 20 years met with a national company and decided against joining them because they could not come to terms on a buyout. As a result, when the engagement expired the national group approached the hospital, won the contract and some of those anesthesiologists were forced into employment and some lost their jobs.
Download our FREE ebook to learn:
- The benefits of practice independence
- The drawbacks of many employment models
- Why and how the right partner is vital in maintaining your anesthesia practice independence
- and more!