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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Why America Needs Independent Physicians

Overview

A startling trend over the past few decades has led to a record low number of independent physician practices in this country. This means certain things for the physicians themselves, but what does it mean for the overall state of healthcare in America? What does it mean for the patient experience? Let’s take a look at the difference a community level/ independent physicians can provide.

Why America Needs Independent Physicians

1) Decreased Healthcare Cost

According to a recent study, hospital-affiliated physicians’ expenditures were as much as 14.6% more annually PER PATIENT than their independent counterparts. This increased cost to insurance providers is often passed on to the consumer in the form of higher insurance premiums.

2) Increased Patient Experience

Most independent physicians’ offices will not have you walk half a mile through the parking lot, find your way to the fourth floor, and then pass through a series of receptionists and medical assistants you have never seen before. At an independent physician’s clinic, you will get to know your entire care team, will have more time on average with your provider, and will receive personalized care that is simply not as common within the stringent hospital system.

3) Community Engagement

Independent physicians understand that their business rises and falls as their community does. Because of that, community-level physicians are more likely to focus on building up their community, providing the best experience possible to keep current patients happy, and putting their money to work locally instead of padding the bottom line.

Conclusion

Hospitals have their place in the healthcare system. However, the trend towards abolishing local, independent, community providers could soon make hospitals the only choice. Increased cost, decreased patient experience, and a low level of community engagement are all potential results if this is not reversed. So, support your local physician when you can and help healthcare help your community.

References:

Rossiter L. F. (2018). Expenditures and Quality: Hospital- and Health System-Affiliated Versus Independent Physicians in Virginia. Southern medical journal, 111(10), 597–600. https://doi.org/10.14423/SMJ.0000000000000876

Alicia Pearson
Alicia Pearson
Alicia Pearson is a researcher, elevator, and innovator. She is also a patent-pending inventor. Before starting her own business, she worked her way up in the highly competitive health care industry as a clinical research coordinator, regional manager, and department head. Alicia was trained by the largest oncology care provider in the United States and has created initiatives and improved processes for million-dollar companies. Alicia has now started the journey of creating, patenting, and selling a new product and is ecstatic to learn and grow with this powerful, diverse community.

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