The number of independent physicians has declined over the last several years, from 57 percent in 2000 to 49 percent in 2005 according to a report conducted by Accenture. It's not a surprise that respondents mentioned reimbursement pressures (36%) and overhead cost (23%) as the two main factors for leaving independent practice.
Many physicians have shifted business models over the last few years. Some have excluded certain public programs to decrease some of their administrative burden. Some have shifted to low-staffing models while others have adopted a concierge medicine model which is starting to gain more traction. The report points out that 17% of physicians are now participating in Accountable Care Organizations.
“Independent practices need business models that are as unique as the market they serve,” said Kaveh Safavi, global managing director of Accenture’s health business. “There’s increasing complexity with running an independent practice and requires that doctors differentiate by specialty type, size or in personalizing service options, such as remote consultations or same-day appointments. Doing so will help independent physicians stay relevant and profitable.”
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