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Corporatized hospitals have become a way of life for many physicians who, frustrated by the regulatory responsibilities of independent practice, sought to shift those burdens to a system better designed to manage them, selling their practices to corporations hungry for profits.

The more doctors that hospitals or private equity companies own, the more market share they capture, the more bargaining power they have with insurers, the more facility fees they can charge . . . and the more referrals they can be sure get driven into their systems.[1]

However, the steady drumbeat for profits puts inordinate pressure on physician employees to treat as many patients as possible. That pressure can lead to serious physician employee burnout—at a significantly higher rate than independent physicians—which, in turn, leads to lower quality patient care.[2] Paired with ever-rising healthcare costs, this combination is a recipe for disaster for doctors.

There is, however, a positive shift occurring in the medical community. In 2015, one in three physicians worked outside the corporate hospital system,[3] but that trend has slowed as physicians realize that their professional autonomy and personal well-being outweigh any regulatory burdens they might have been looking to avoid when they sold their practices to the corporate hospitals.

[D]octors . . . are converting their practices into direct-pay models. By opting out of the strangling triangulation that comes from dealing with third-party payors, they are bringing costs way down, greatly eliminating the burdens of data collection, and, unlike their employed colleagues, are happier in their profession.[4]

By converting to a concierge practice, physicians are in control of the size of their patient panels. They can spend more time being doctors, consulting with and treating their patients, instead of performing data entry for their corporate employers and insurance companies. They can spend quality time with their families and regain a sense of purpose. Physicians can have their lives back.

[1] Carey, M. (2019, June 9). Employed vs independent doctors: Numbers don’t tell the whole story. Medical Economics. Retrieved from https://www.medicaleconomics.com/med-ec-blog/employed-vs-independent-doctors-numbers-dont-tell-whole-story.

[2] Ibid.

[3]  Accenture Press Release (2015, July 29). Many U.S. Doctors will leave Private Practice for Hospital Employment, Accenture Reports. Accenture Newsroom. Retrieved from https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/many-us-doctors-will-leave-private-practice-for-hospital-employment-accenture-reports.htm

[4] Carey, M. (2019, June 9). Employed vs independent doctors: Numbers don’t tell the whole story. Medical Economics. Retrieved from https://www.medicaleconomics.com/med-ec-blog/employed-vs-independent-doctors-numbers-dont-tell-whole-story.

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