You’ve no doubt heard about the impending demise of the private medical practices.
According to some, a combination of increased regulations, changing pay models, meaningful use and the Affordable Care Act are set to run community physicians out of business. Well, we’re here to tell you that the rumors of the demise of the private medical practice have been greatly exaggerated.
Hospitals and big healthcare systems have been snapping up doctors left and right recently, with the assumption being that the glut of physicians would both improve care and increase profits. Unfortunately for these big systems, that hasn’t been the case so far. In 2012, the median loss from hiring a physician was $176,463.
Healthcare systems absorbing private medical practices haven’t helped patients’ wallets either. Generally, patients will pay more at a hospital for the same procedure than they would at a private office. In the entrepreneurship game, this is what’s known as a market opportunity.
It may seem unusual, but the healthcare market is beginning to work more like the market for any other consumer good or service, and your marketing should reflect that. Private practitioners are in the unique position of being able to provide the same service as big healthcare systems at a lower price point. They also have the added appeal of being locally-owned and community focused. The combination of lower cost, personalized service is attractive to anyone seeking medical care – you just need to get your name and story out there.
There’s another great boon to private medical practitioners – the 16.9 million Americans with new health coverage since 2013. These beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act represent an untapped market for private practices, especially if you can be flexible with what insurance you accept.
The Chickens Little may be clucking about the imminent end of private healthcare practices, but savvy offices should see all of these changes as an opportunity to thrive.