4 myths about thriving as an independent physician

Myth #1: Thriving as an independent physician is not possible in today’s health care environment.

Reality: It’s true that independent practices are under increasing pressure to demonstrate clinical and financial outcomes, and may feel the need to merge or sell to hospitals in order to survive. But thriving as an independent physician is possible with the right support, data, and connectivity.

Combining co-sourced services — where the health IT vendor and practice take on work that’s easiest for each to complete — and a single, unified network offers the most cost-effective, flexible, and robust solutions for keeping up with health changes in the long term, and successfully remaining an independent physician.

Myth #2: Thriving as an independent physician means continuing only as a solo or small group practice.

Reality: Independent practices have many options to remain financially and clinically strong, beyond the small group setting. Depending on their goals, an independent practice could become a large, thriving, multi-specialty center that competes with local hospitals and health care systems. Pursuing a growth strategy does require a strong technology partner with a track record for enabling growth in two ways: rapidly onboarding new providers; and delivering visibility into provider-level performance to ensure the strategy is paying off.

If the strategy is more about remaining an independent physician within a smaller group, a practice still needs the right systems and support in place so that providers can focus on patient care without the administrative hassles so often required to stay profitable in today’s reform environment.

Myth #3: Running a medical practice costs too much to thrive as an independent physician.

Reality: network-enabled health IT services offer the support needed to remain independent without the high up-front costs associated with traditional, legacy solutions. Here's where the network/knowledge/work model is different, and why it can work so well for independent physicians: It does not require large start-up or licensing fees since the service is accessible online. The network is continually updated behind the scenes so there are no fees for maintenance or upgrades. And most practices have what it takes to get started right away: a computer and an Internet connection.

Myth #4: Thriving as an independent physician requires joining a hospital’s EHR system to meet data exchange and care coordination requirements.

Reality: Providers do not have to be on the same system to exchange clinical data securely and seamlessly. Again, by using a cloud-based platform, a technology and services partner can easily build and maintain interfaces with clinical partners including payers, hospitals, labs, imaging centers, and state registries to ensure that the right health care entity has the right information at the right time.

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