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Healthcare Practice Strategies - Fall 2014 - The Single-Specialty or Single-Discipline Group Practice

An intriguing option for employed physicians seeking a return to private practice is the single-specialty group practice. Here, three or more physicians who practice the same medical specialty share clinical and administrative facilities, patient records and employees.

The single-discipline group practice model is similar, but is composed of only one discipline, such as primary care, vision care, surgery, etc. In both models, income and expenses are distributed among the physicians according to a prearranged plan.

A variety of factors favor creation of single-specialty rather than multispecialty groups these days — including the move away from primary care gatekeeping and the Stark II regulations. The benefits for physicians to join a narrowly focused practice include:

• Capital and scale – A single-specialty group can better cost-justify (and afford) advanced technology, as all members will benefit from it. By contrast, a large multi-specialty group may find it harder to justify a software purchase if it will only benefit three specialists in a 150-physician practice.

• Reputation – A single-specialty group is fine-tuned — they know their specialty backwards and forwards. They’re going to do it well, so they can quickly develop a reputation as a high-quality provider.

• Negotiating leverage – A single-specialty group in a smaller area could become the go-to group for every insurance company that needs that specialty.

• Focus – With its focus on a single specialty or single discipline, the group can also better stay abreast of today’s complex business and regulatory environment. For example, a good medical biller for a single-specialty group will excel at that specialty — billing patients accurately and efficiently with fewer wrongly entered codes and information.

Ultimately, a single-specialty or single-discipline group practice is like a tailored suit — perfectly fitted for your specialty.


Healthcare Practice Strategies – Fall 2014

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