The Hospital Arms Race

Independent physicians tend to keep their heads down and work very hard.  While they are busy caring for sick folks, something significant is happening. The Baylor and THR Hospital systems are buying their physician colleagues lock, stock, and barrel.  There is a full-bore contest happening to gain market share and control.

A major recruiting firm recently reported in the Dallas Business Journal that only one percent of their physician recruiting searches were posted by solo physicians. That is a dramatic, if anecdotal bit of reporting from one major recruiting firm. The implication is that corporate America at this time has largely taken over the enlistment of practitioners.

That can be very disturbing if the space that one occupies is “solo”.  It is of concern if it indicates the demise of independent physicians running their own practice.  PDA hears a lot of feedback from the market.  For example, a primary care physician approached PDA and shared that he was taken aback by a visit from a mega-hospital manager.  The conversation was centered on an invitation to allow the practice to be evaluated and appraised.  The hospital executive shared that in the future, top-notch practitioners would primarily work from within an owned setting.  The implication was that there was a closing window of opportunity to get situated for the future.  Interesting.

PDA totally accepts that for now the employed situation is appropriate for a lot of physicians. This includes physicians who genuinely think that big is better.. It includes mature physicians who are thinking about slowing down a bit, and it definitely applies to the beginning practitioner who is saddled with debt.  In contrast, PDA is focused on supporting the long-term survival and success of the independent practitioner.  The PDA mantra that drives the IPA is to make members more money, avoid hassle, and not ask for more time at work.

The IPA leadership spends a lot of time working on new ways to assist members’ practices.  For example, the largest PDA uptown practice is currently being trained in appropriate Medicare procedures to provide a worksite for a licensed representative of a Medicare Advantage health plan.  Each individual patient will have access to objective information in this format. Some of these Medicare patients will be converted to Medicare Advantage patients.  The potential is there to dramatically upgrade the payment demographics of this practice. 

When PDA physicians understand this health plan’s Medicare Advantage product, there is excellent acceptance.  If you would like a more profitable practice, great medical support programs, and future rewards for quality performance, please contact the PDA office. This is just one way that PDA can help independent physicians create a successful future for their material needs and professional value system.

Flagship Network Reaches Critical Mass!

Our model for community driven healthcare

Flagship Network has reached Critical Mass at Lake Pointe!

Exclusive Provider Contracting Begins 7.15.2012

 A terrific community hospital and its related outpatient facilities have teamed with a premier group of primary care and specialist physicians to create the Flagship Healthcare Network.  Pricing concessions provided to community businesses with 25 to 250 workers are both material and indicative of high-quality, cost-effective  services.  Out-of-area network coverage is equally competitive and accessible.  As with all PDA activities, here comes minimal overhead, no bureaucracy, and goal-directed investment that multiplies value.

 We are in the time of “New Normal”, and PDA is ready.  Our integrated healthcare delivery system will improve certain integrated healthcare delivery roles even before the touted ObamaCare “exchanges” arrive.  This product is totally flexible and adaptable to client needs. The Flagship Network aggressively seeks employee shared accountability to enhance wellness and chronic disease management.

 Historically, agents have been contracted to the various insurance companies, i.e., appointed to sell. They are paid by the insurers and have a fiduciary responsibility to represent them.  In the “New Normal” where healthcare reform requires that 80-85% of all premium dollars be directly applied to healthcare, agents will be faced with a choice.  Either they will seek Texas Department of Insurance licensure as a “Benefits Counselor”, they will successfully lobby to change the rules, or they will become educators, comparison shoppers, and service resources rather than sales professionals.

Change is also impacting our member physicians and the Hospital.  First, financial concession by the hospital has made a bold statement.  Second, physicians are being swept along by new requirements. For example, Medicare will be subjecting practitioners to requirements of “meaningful use” of electronic medical records.  Their new interaction with case management and quality management is very important.  Changes are everywhere.

Against the background of change and rising expenses, our local medical community faces significant patient out-migration. Freedom to seek care “where ever” is fine, but it makes so much sense to support the outstanding providers and facilities within the Flagship Network and the Lake Pointe Health Network service area. As a coordinated, interactive community of caregivers, we will make every effort to induce patients to stay in the local community for their medical needs. 

That is only a preview of the “New Normal” at work in patient care. After all, the real test is: “Is it good for the patient?”  The Narrow Network of motivated community providers is ready to serve local business owners and operators.  This will be presented to them with a clear, understandable message of caring service.  This is exciting stuff!