The 2010 healthcare overhauls changed the economic model for many physicians and nurse practitioners.
The federal government is pushing higher quality standards, while pushing insurance companies to cut costs. The demands have taken a toll on those in the medical profession, and it has forced some medical practices to change their business models.
Dr. Mark Holthouse decided than an insurance-only practice was not for him about seven years ago. The California based family practitioner decided to build a hybrid practice and serve only a limited number of patients. He added services such as personal fitness training and acupuncture. His patients pay a monthly fee for these holistic offerings on top of the insurance reimbursement for their traditional medical care.
Holthouse adopted this model because he believe that it better served his patients, and it allowed him a measure of independence. Accenture reported in 2012 that the number of independent physicians fell to only 36 percent in 2013, and as many as one-third of those 36 percent have adopted a subscription model for their practice.
Medical practitioners seeking independence from community hospitals need to reinvent themselves during this healthcare system overall.
Holthouse’s concierge model has him treating eight or more patients a day who make large out of pocket payments in addition to their insurance. His practice does not accept patients with Medicaid because of the reimbursement rates. It is a decision that independent practices must consider to remain so.