Physicians in Florida have faced a number of challenges in recent years, with battles over Medicaid still raging and many struggling with high malpractice insurance premiums. Payment and practice models have evolved, and running a clinic has become increasingly difficult as a result. These days, one of the biggest challenges to solo practitioners is simply keeping their businesses afloat.
According to the consulting firm Accenture, solo practices are on the decline. By 2016, the firm estimates that independent physicians will run only 33 percent of practices, a decline of 4 percent since 2013. This decline may not seem that extreme until it is compared to the numbers from 15 years ago, when over half of all practices were solo ones.
The decline comes for a number of reasons, but one of the most prevalent is that health systems are gobbling up solo practices to improve their market share. These systems have the money to negotiate the purchase of these firms and often are the physicians’ only good option for survival in the medical field.
Additionally, commercial insurance companies can make things difficult for solo practitioners by constantly dragging their feet on reimbursements. These companies often will not negotiate favorable rates for small practices, as they do not see the same incentives offered to them from larger commercial practices.
The shift to larger practices has consequences for patients and physicians. When hospitals acquire smaller practices, the price for services often goes up. Many patients are billed for “facility fees” and other costs that are not part of the price package at independent clinics.
It has become increasingly difficult for solo health care practitioners in Florida to survive in the current market. For those struggling with insurance companies that employ unfair tactics to discourage reimbursements, there may be legal options available. Meet with a Florida health care attorney today.
Attorney Andrea Jevic also contributed to this blog post.