Almost 50% of all physicians were employed by hospitals as of January 2021. This number represents an increase of 5% from the same time period in 2019. The data, gathered by the Physicians Advocacy Institute and Avalere, shows an increase of hospital-owned practices or ownership by corporate entities like private equity firms. This rate rose at an even greater level during the pandemic, with 8.5% of private practices reporting a shift from private ownership to representation as a hospital or corporate owned entity during COVID-19.
Although a growing trend, there are ways for physician’s practices to remain independent. Those who wish to achieve this goal can benefit from the following tips:
Give business and financial operations the attention they deserve
Yes, you likely entered medicine to help patients, not run a business. However, in order to have a healthy, thriving practice it is important to have strong business and financial operations. Various federal programs are available that can provide assistance, particularly due to challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ease physician stress by reducing administrative burden
Physician burnout within private practice is a problem, and research shows that one of the leading contributing factors is administrative burden. Meetings, scheduling, accounting, and IT issues are huge time sucks and take physicians away from their patients. New innovations like opportunities to leverage the economies of scale used by large healthcare organizations and a service providing turnkey online business services akin to the Amazon Seller Central example discussed by MedCity News are promising and offer hope to shift this administrative burden to more appropriate sources in the future.