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Reasons why independent physicians can stay independent

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Even as the healthcare landscape changes, there are a number of solid reasons why independent physicians can and will stay independent. New healthcare regulations, insurance rules, and pressures to consolidate are challenges for independent physicians. However, most prefer to maintain their independence to better serve their patients with personalized care and advances in technology, including an EHR system for independent physicians.

As healthcare payments shift to value-based care, independent physicians are actually better positioned to not only maintain their autonomy but to grow their practice. In fact, a 2015 Independent Physician Outlook Survey, as reported in Becker’s ASC Review, revealed that many independent physicians “envision a future where the employed physicians at larger healthcare institutions migrate back into a private practice or independent practice setting.”

Almost half of the survey respondents agreed that innovation in business models, designed to focus on cost savings and efficiency, would help them maintain their autonomy. Incorporating an EHR system for independent physicians can be a crucial piece of such business model. Elation offers a provider-centric Clinical EHR that exists at the nexus of the clinical workflow, supports the physician-patient relationship, and drives outstanding patient outcomes, enabling independent physicians to provide the highest quality care and remain independent.

Joining an Independent Physician Association (IPA) is another step toward maintaining independence. An IPA enables independent physicians with more leverage in certain types of contract and payment negotiations. About 49 percent of the survey respondents felt that an IPA would also help them by providing a forum for aligning with other, like-minded physicians.

The survey report noted that “nearly half of independent specialists expect to sell their practices in the coming years, but not because they want to.” Independent physicians have a number of available reasons to stay independent. Employing the right tools for secure and effective patient communication as well as practice management is a key aspect of staying independent as a physician. Using advanced technology to more efficiently record and maintain patient health records enables the independent physician to focus on the core goal of the practice – quality patient care.