Keep your Independence

“Medicine has undergone many changes in the last few decades, and not all of them have been good. We all have seen how our Profession is being devolved into an Industry. 

Slowly and deliberately, we have been pushed aside by those who see our profession as a source for their gain. For independent private practitioners, EMR’s and clinical performance measuring/reporting have created more grief than relief from what is an already stressful profession. 

Most of us in private practice are not experts in electronic health records, quality measure reporting, information technology, etc. We are experts in providing medical care to the patients in our communities, where we have been practicing for years!  

Large health care delivery entities can mistakenly seem like the salvation from all that stress. The current trend of consolidation is being sold as the only way to manage the transition to the new medical delivery models geared toward value-based care. The lure of joining a bigger entity is fueled by the belief that size alone protects us from the third-party payors and the regulators. 

It is true that larger size enables practices to negotiate better terms. However, most of the gains will be funneled up to the upper management layer, as is always the case in corporate models. Furthermore, corporate tendencies will inevitably create a perpetual “square peg in round hole” situation for practices in order to comply with the goals of the Home Office. This will further lead to increased physician dissatisfaction and burn-out. 

There is a better way of delivering care: by creating a neighborhood of independent private practices that will continue to provide excellent care within their communities, and at the same time, adapt to the changing environment of our profession. A Clinically Integrated Network (CIN) allows practices to keep their independence and share quality data and quality-enhancing resources. No need to create a super-group or to join a large system or entity. 

The CIN model allows physicians to remain in the leadership role for managing their practices and helping their neighborhood of practices thrive. Uniformity in reporting data while maintaining community and practice-specific delivery of care. This is the option we have all been waiting for.”