The Death of Medical Practice? [A Voting Poll and Survey]

Has Demise been Greatly Exaggerated?

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By Staff Reporters

QUESTION: Are solo practitioners, and small group physician medical practices, on the verge of disappearing?

In our businessmodel, some pundits opine that:

“Primary care physicians and other specialists will continue to be the target of acquisitions by larger health and hospital systems. Physicians will begin to transition to a more consumer-based patient orientation model (i.e. concierge medicine, cash-for-services, retail) in order to replace lower reimbursements, or opt out of third-party reimbursement models entirely. Or alternatively, these physicians will shift to become an employee of a larger system.”

Please vote and opine.

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3 Responses

  1. Physician Thinkers versus Doctor Doers
    [Navigating the Information Arbitrage Gap]

    Like many professionals, doctors who are thinkers [internists, FPs, GPs, etc] – rather than doers [surgeons and proceduralists, etc] – and second opinion consultants make their living by “information arbitrage.” They know how to navigate a complex area. They get paid to help their patients cross an “information gap.”

    The problem with information gaps as the basis of business models is that they are not permanent. New technologies or changes in laws or business structures can collapse them. That’s what happened to travel agents. Kayak and Orbitz took up most of the searching they used to do, the airlines got really squeezed economically, and suddenly most of their business model collapsed under them.

    Is this what is happening to some sectors of healthcare because of the internet and related medical content providers? Me thinks so! What say ye?

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™


  2. Decline in Doctor Office Visits Could be Permanent

    The number of visits patients make to physicians in a given month — a vital sign for the whole healthcare economy — has been declining consistently, according to multiple tracking studies, companies, and researchers.

    According to a Thomson Reuters survey, September physician office visits were down 8% compared with September 2010, and August visits were down 7% from August 2010. Office visits were down 2.7% in a six-month period ending September 2011, the worst decline since mid-2010.

    Analysts say those numbers may not bounce back, even with health system reform. That’s because a struggling economy, higher insurance deductibles, and the efforts by health plans and others to reduce utilization have altered patient patterns, perhaps permanently. Patients now often seek office visits — or any interaction with the health system — only when a problem can’t be ignored.

    Source: Emily Berry, AMNews [10/31/11]


  3. Doctors transform how they practice

    Physicians are experimenting with business models and new practice techniques, hoping to find work that is both financially and personally rewarding.

    One doctor comments, “Unless you remain independent, you will have no say in what kind of medicine you practice.”

    Ann Miller RN MHA


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