Primary Care Physicians are starting to panic with the Affordable Care Act coming into play. With the fear of not being able to afford their own practice, due new changes such as lower reimbursements from the government, physicians are starting to look towards working for large hospital networks. This change allows them to have a steady, predictable income and also means that they do not need to worry themselves with the budgetary concerns of running their own facility, such as: purchasing new machinery, technology, medical supplies and ensuring a constant flow of patients. One need not worry about this when working for a large network.
But what will this shift mean for patients? In order for hospitals or larger networks to be profitable, they need to churn patients in and out. This means that the physician has a brief time limit in which to see you, learn about you and your medical concerns, and provide a diagnosis, treatment and/or plan for your future health. I know that this is not the type of service I would like from my physician, and I suspect that this is also not the service these physicians want to be providing.
Primary Care Physicians are the ones that make patients feel welcome. They are the ones that remember you from your visit the year before. They are the ones that actually take time to listen to all your problems and give you solutions. They care for you. So why should we let our physicians be forced into working at hospitals or larger networks, when their vision might be owning their own Primary Care facility?
So, the question becomes – how can these doctors afford to own their own practice (or be a part of a smaller, private practice) in light of the new healthcare reforms? That is where Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO) come into action. A GPO is an entity that negotiates aggressive pricing on medical, surgical and pharmaceutical supplies (often, office, transportation and technological supplies as well). The GPOs main purpose is to leverage the purchasing power of their individual customers, Primary Care Physicians for example, by combining them all into one, large group. In doing so, aggressive, negotiated pricing on medical, surgical and pharmaceutical supplies can be passed along to these physicians/facilities – pricing that they would not have access to if they were simply purchasing on their own. Having GPOs here to negotiate these contracts and then pass the savings onto the physicians/facilities is one way that GPOs can assist independent physicians in following through with their dream – owning or being part of their own private practice. Primary Care Physicians should feel more at ease that the organization was created to help providers like themselves pay the least amount for supplies by the power of collaboration.
So, instead of settling for a position at a hospital or a large network — working hours you do not like and rushing through your appointments — why not partner with a GPO, such as New Source, whose dedication is to helping healthcare providers delivery quality patient care? What do you have to lose?