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Accenture on Independent MDs in the near future: Fewer of Them; With More Performing Subscription Based Services

By Clive Riddle, November 2, 2012

Accenture has just released a new report: Clinical Transformation: New Business Models for a New Era in Healthcare. They found that  “over the past decade, the number of independent U.S. physicians has dropped dramatically, from 57 percent in 2000 to 39 percent in 2012. By the end of 2013, Accenture predicts this number will likely drop further, to 36 percent.” More interesting, it that “by the end of 2013, Accenture also estimates that one-in-three doctors remaining independent will offer patients with subscription-based services, such as telemedicine or online consultations, for sustaining profit – a trend that is expected to increase three-fold over the next three years.”

Accenture’s Kaveh Safavi, M.D., J.D., tells us “More independent physicians are offering subscription-based services as a way for patients to customize their care experience. Meanwhile, patients appreciate the opportunity to supplement their existing coverage with premium, subscription-based services, such as same-day appointments and online prescription refills.”

While this blends with concierge medicine concepts, but the possibilities for what physicians potentially could develop as supplemental premium services could be quite interesting. Of course, for those doctors under health plan managed care contracts preventing balance billing, chartering into premium service waters might require considerable navigation.

Here are some other findings from the Accenture physician survey:

  • 87 percent of physicians surveyed cited the cost and expense of running a business as a chief concern.
  • 65 percent joining health systems said they expect to make the same or less compensation than in private practice.
  • 61 percent cited business operations as a main reason for seeking hospital employment rather than remaining independent.
  • 53 percent cited electronic medical record requirements as a main reason for leaving private practice.

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