Medical practice innovation—including the use of technology to increase efficiency and reduce overhead—is what "holds the key to private practice being a viable alternative to salaried employment," according to a new report from the Physicians Foundation (PDF).
The 70-page report, titled The Future of Medical Practice: Creating Options for Practicing Physicians to Control Their Professional Destiny, was written by Jeff Goldsmith, associate professor of public health sciences at the University of Virginia, who was No. 77 on Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare list in 2004.
Physicians seeking economic security have been turning to employment by hospitals and large medical systems, but Goldsmith cites an MGMA-ACMPE study that found that hospitals' viability also is being threatened, as hospital losses per physician averaged $212,000 in 2010. The report suggests that other options to employment by hospitals are solo "micropractices," patient-centered medical homes and direct-to-pay practices.