An analysis in the Annals of Family Medicine touts large, physician-owned primary-care groups as good alternatives t0 physician employment with hospitals or multi-specialty practices under value-based contracting.
The authors note that these large groups with physician autonomy can conveniently offer imaging, laboratory services, health-information technology and quality-improvement infrastructures with a friendly environment for patients.
The authors concluded that “large, independent primary care groups have the potential to make primary care attractive to physicians and to improve patient care by combining human-scale advantages of physician autonomy and the small practice setting with resources that are important to succeed in value-based contracting.”
The authors said that the groups’ cost structure has gotten the favorable attention of venture capitalists investing in corporations with Accountable Care Organizations
“Though large groups’ negotiating leverage can lead to higher payment rates from health insurers, primary care costs are only 5 percent of health care costs. When engaged in risk contracting, primary care groups can focus on controlling the other 95 percent of costs without conflicting incentives to keep specialists busy or hospital beds filled.”