In part one of this series, we explored how a partner can help employed physicians navigate the transition to private practice and maximize:
- Revenue potential, especially in value-based arrangements
- Control over your practice culture and patient care
- Time with your patients and for yourself
These benefits have led some “health system-employed physicians [to] leave their system contracts to return to independent practice,” according to the Advisory Board.
In fact, research by Medscape suggests that nearly 70 percent of currently employed physicians are considering leaving within the next 10 years.
One force driving this increased interest in transitioning out of employment is the rise of innovative partnerships that help doctors succeed in private practice. We’ll explore why employed physicians should consider a partner and how to evaluate one.
Four Ways a Partner Can Simplify the Transition to Private Practice
If you’re an employed physician who is curious about — or already in the process of — going into private practice, first know that you don’t have to do it alone. A partner like Privia can make your journey:
- Turnkey. A partnership provides the expertise and support to handle complex backend work, such as business structuring and credentialing.
- Cheaper. On average, starting a practice can cost upwards of $70K, but a partner can bundle services to help lower expenses.
- Streamlined. Having a single partner avoids the fragmentation of working with multiple vendors.
- Faster. A partnership can help get your practice up and running faster, and therefore earning money sooner.
However, not all partners offer the same level of support while you set up your practice, or more importantly, after you open. There are certain criteria you should look for when evaluating a potential partner.
Five Criteria and Solutions of a Supportive Partnership
The need for support, as more employed physicians start opening their own practice, has resulted in an abundance of partnership arrangements. Vetting these options can be complex and overwhelming.
Before evaluating, it’s important that you first consider two overarching criteria:
- Partner, not vendor. While a vendor may help get your practice started, a partner promotes long-term success. Vendor relationships are usually transactional, whereas a partnership is mutually beneficial.
- Complementary, not controlling. A partnership should enhance, not limit, your autonomy and offer actionable insights, not give commands. Look for a partner that is physician-led as this shows an understanding of the challenges you face.
In addition to these core criteria, an effective partner should provide three key types of support:
A medical group connects you with a community of like-minded providers, allowing you to gain insights and find support from established and successful practices. Membership in a medical group can also help build your referral network and offer leadership opportunities.
Accountable Care Organization (ACO)
ACOs can help you earn greater reimbursements and position yourself strategically for a value-based future, which promotes long-term stability. While some hospitals and health systems operate ACOs, data shows that physician-led ACOs can generate seven times more savings.
Management Services Organization (MSO)
A comprehensive MSO offloads much of the administrative work that comes with practice ownership. Ideally, a partner’s MSO should support:
- Revenue cycle management
- Payer contracting
- Electronic health records and IT
- Practice consulting
- Population health analytics