DECEMBER 1, 2014 – The recently released 2015 Independent Physician Outlook Survey, entitled “Threats to Independence,” explores the state of independence in the medical field from the physician perspective. The survey covers an array of topics and was conducted and prepared by ProCare Systems, a medical practice management consultant company.
In many business industries, the choice to be big versus small involves consideration of competing pros and cons. The healthcare industry is no exception. Physicians, as highly educated professionals, tend to be independent by nature and prefer to call their own shots. Yet the current regulatory and business environment for physicians makes independence more challenging than ever for many doctors.
For some time, the healthcare industry has seen a trend toward value- and outcomes-based healthcare delivery models with many new administrative challenges and continuing downward pressures on reimbursement, necessarily involving many changes for physicians. The economic and regulatory pressures of healthcare reform are perpetuating frustration and financial strain for physician practices, pushing many doctors toward employment by larger health care systems. However, the ProCare report also shows that most doctors nonetheless continue to prefer independence and that many opportunities to reclaim independence will exist for smaller physician practices with agility and a greater ability to be innovative and efficient in the evolving regulatory environment.