Some entrepreneurial physicians have begun to take back the health care system from the ever-consolidating hospital corporations that show no signs of systemic innovation.
The attempts to “fix” the U.S. healthcare system have taken at least one well-worn market-based path: strive for economies of scale. Hospital consolidation is on the rise, a trend that shows no signs of abating as providers try to streamline back-end operations and deploy big data analytics in hopes of improving outcomes and lowering costs. Businesses try this every day.
However some primary care physicians are looking at the exact opposite approach: de-scaling and taking cost out by radically simplifying their practices as a way to make them clinically, financially, and personally sustainable.
What makes these practices different? 1) Each is based on relationship quality rather than production volume; as a result, each is smaller than the average U.S. practice; 2) Visits are longer and the doctor may provide a broader range of services with minimal support staff; 3) They have business plans that demonstrate how their model can be financially sustainable; and 4) Each used their variation on the general model to offer greater satisfaction to their patients as well as to their own personal and professional lives.