Caring for kids along their journey from infancy to young adulthood makes pediatrics a uniquely rewarding specialty. Unfortunately, independent pediatricians like Michael Middleton, MD, also face unique challenges.
“There’s this sense of vulnerability. You’re on an island. And in times of change and uncertainty, the more isolated you feel.”
This uneasiness isn’t reducible to one sole cause. From clunky technology to shrinking reimbursements, independent pediatricians today contend with a wide variety of vexing issues. Rather than try to solve these interconnected problems one by one, pediatricians should instead consider a holistic partnership.
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Dr. Middleton run a profitable, patient-focused
7 Challenges Privia Helps Independent Pediatricians Overcome
- Payer frustrations. Not only do independent physicians receive, on average, lower reimbursements, but pediatricians sometimes even lose money on vaccinations after factoring in administrative expenses. However, Privia offers group-purchasing discounts on vaccines and other essentials.
- Quantity over quality. Pediatricians still have few opportunities for value-based care despite the model’s overall progress. With 100+ value-based contracts, Privia can provide pediatricians a chance to participate in these forward-looking arrangements.
- Financial precarity. Given this reliance on low, fee-for-service reimbursements, eight of the 10 lowest-paid specialties are in pediatrics. Privia’s expert contracting teams can help secure fair rates.
- Poorly customized technology. Healthcare technology often overlooks the nuances and needs of pediatric patients, resulting in roundabout electronic health record (EHR) workflows. Privia’s specialty-specific EHR enhancements include immunization schedules, growth and development charting, and newborn screening data.
- Fragmented outreach. Whether treating patients who haven’t said their first word yet or calming parents’ worries, communication is a critical but complex part of pediatrics. Telehealth, patient portals, and mobile apps are often expensive and poorly integrated. Privia centralizes these convenient tools to boost connection and coordination.
- Administrative overload. All that time spent negotiating (in vain) with payers, navigating inefficient EHRs, and troubleshooting issues with myriad tech vendors detracts from patient care. From dedicated consultants to award-winning rev-cycle teams, Privia’s robust support helps offload tasks so doctors can focus on patients and work-life balance.
- Loss of autonomy. To rein in administrative work and stabilize finances, many independent pediatricians are opting to sell their practice even when that means sacrificing some autonomy. In fact, the majority of pediatricians are now employed. However, research shows that while independent and employed physicians are equally happy with their income, the latter reports lower overall job satisfaction.
Thankfully, independent pediatricians are increasingly realizing that overcoming these obstacles and preserving independence are not mutually exclusive. As Dr. Middleton noted: “Privia is this sweet spot that balances freedom and infrastructure so we can access resources without institutional rigidity. Their support as both a business owner and clinician helps me lead a more sustainable, viable, and flourishing practice.”