Regarding Michael Romanos Reporters Notebook (A gadfly in the ointment at AMGA, at modernhealthcare.com): In my experience, medical groups offer more opportunity for peer review and discussion on patients clinical needs than solo physician practices. Often, in groups that I have managed, I have seen immediate consultation between primary-care doctors and specialists or among specialists. The commonality of the patient record aids in this discussion, review or communication.
Also, patient care and operations tend to rise to a higher level, as the partners and employees of the medical group want to be known for high-quality medicine and customer service. Physicians and medical group administrators know that word of mouth and giving outstanding patient care and service are the best ways to let the community know of your services.
Solo physicians have less opportunity for peer review, and they maintain their own standards, which you hope would be high, but there is less peer interaction and they have less access to medical management input.
In California, many medical groupsin particular those involved with capitated medicineeither in formal groups or in an independent practice association structure, have adopted pay-for-performance goals, focused on patient care and structural aspects of care delivery that influence quality. Those in fee-for-service medicine only are not involved in these patient-focused quality programs.
Saddleback Physician Services