Physician Owned Practices Create Insurance Opportunities
For most of human history, people dealt directly with their doctors. Those doctors essentially operated as their own small business owners and handled those duties on top of practicing medicine.
The post-World War II era saw huge changes in the health care industry, with government-sponsored insurance programs drastically altering the relationships between doctors and patients. Health Maintenance Organizations came along later, in the 1970s, making third parties a larger part of the equation.
Those trends continued into the early part of this decade. The passage of the Affordable Care Act lead to larger conglomerate health care groups, systems and hospitals acquiring smaller, more independently run practices. Industry publications attribute that to the ACA’s shift from fee-based systems to those based more on incentives for improving overall public health.
However, industry data indicates that those trends are reversing again, and the traditional physician-owned practice seems to be on the upswing. This new trend also creates the opportunity for specialized insurance coverage to be offered to these new businesses.
More doctors appear willing to take the leap into self-employment for a variety of reasons. One is that larger health care conglomerates tend to have more strings attached to conditions of employment that limit their ability to treat their patients.
Going into business for themselves gives doctors more flexibility and control over their schedules. It allows them greater freedom to provide more individualized and personalized patient care.
Another benefit of this patient-centered approach is that it allows those doctor-patient interactions to occur somewhere other than a hospital. Many people don’t like hospitals and are not comfortable in that kind of a setting. They are less likely to mind having their doctor visits in a smaller facility located in a shopping plaza or other more convenient, consumer-friendly location.
There are some potential disadvantages to doctors going into business for themselves. Any entrepreneurial venture involves some semblance of financial risk. That can be dauting for anyone facing thousands of dollars in student loans from years of medical school.
Owning your own business requires discipline and some level of acumen. Practicing medicine and running a business are completely different skill sets. It’s also a lot of responsibility, especially once you hire employees. Their livelihood depends on your success, and that can keep some people up at night.
However, doctors who are uncertain of their ability to manage the business side of things can mitigate those risks by creating partnerships with people who are more familiar with running those kinds of operations.
There’s also the initial capital investment involved in acquiring your own facility and installing the proper required equipment. Those dollar figures can be quite intimidating. However, banks typically consider medical offices to be good investments and are often willing to lend the startup capital that can help to make it happen.
Every one of these independent practices is going to need multiple kinds of insurance, creating opportunities for professionals in that industry. Aside from medical malpractice and medical professional coverage, they will need insurance for data breach and cyber liability in order to satisfy HIPPA compliance requirements. They will also need business owner policies with enhanced coverages for specialized medical equipment.
Located in Beaverton, ABI Insurance offers these kinds of coverages, and more. For more information on ABI’s commercial and medical liability insurance options, call Art Richards or Justine Avera at 503-292-1580.