Whether you’re looking to join a practice, collaborate with a hospital, or pool resources—it’s important to know your options for physician integration.
Here’s a primer on physician integration to help determine the right solution for you.
If you’re an independent physician, you might be wondering why other independent doctors would seek to integrate with a medical group. Here are some of the common reasons providers come to MED3000 for integration assistance.
1 – Hard Integration with a Practice
A physician who joins an existing medical practice is an example of a hard integration. Doctors who are relocating or leaving residency might choose this option, rather than establishing a practice from the ground up.
While details vary, in most cases a physician can buy into a practice when looking to integrate. This process might ramp up slowly so both parties can decide if they are a good fit before making a full commitment to join together.
In this scenario, physicians are able to begin seeing patients quickly as they benefit from the practice’s already-established processes.
2 – Hard integration with a Hospital
In this instance, a physician is employed by a hospital system or a hospital-owned practice. In addition to joining the hospital payroll, physicians can benefit from referrals and participate in value-based care models.
While it may appear that this type of integration is becoming more common as a result of the Affordable Care Act and economic conditions, a study conducted by Rice University’s Baker Institute determined that the integration levels between hospitals and physicians is more complicated.
The study recognized that tighter integrations among hospitals and physicians increased between 2008 and 2013, and looser forms of integration decreased during that time. The study also found that many hospitals decreased their physician integration levels as well, leading the researchers to determine that “the observed overall shift to tighter physician-hospital integration does not have a consistent pattern and may be more complex than previously expected.”
3 – Soft integration
For doctors looking for some of the benefits associated with groups – such as sharing best practices or negotiating power for benefits – without joining a practice or hospital, there are some soft integration options.