Five large, independent physician groups in Ohio are collaborating to ensure their survival against the increasing employment of physicians by health systems.
Members of the Ohio Independent Collaborative are looking to partner on group purchasing, national risk-based contracts and possibly malpractice insurance to protect their financial sustainability. The founding members are Community Health Care, Northern Ohio Medical Specialists, Pioneer Physicians Network, Premier Physicians and Unity Health Network.
The group, comprising more than 400 physicians in multiple specialties, serving over 450,000 patients, hopes to take advantage of the benefits and synergies of being a large organization while remaining independent. It's an effort to stand up to big, clinically integrated networks such as the Cleveland Clinic and Cincinnati-based Mercy Health, said Gary Pinta, president of the collaborative and a leader with Uniontown, Ohio-based Pioneer Physicians Network. “We felt that the winds of change are coming and that may be the thing that stops independent practice from continuing in Ohio,” he said.