Why are physician practices continuing to feel the pinch and pain associated with the business side of medicine without doing something about it? There is a lot of complaining out there but little action. If you are a consistent reader of this blog, you know how I feel about practice mergers – it’s a necessity for smaller practices in today’s ever changing healthcare environment. I could lament why physicians don’t embrace practice merger but I would just be wasting my breath cause no one is listening!
I would rather let the marketplace doing the talking for me, like this recent physician practice merger as reported in the Cincinatti Business Journal:
Friday, August 8, 2008
Two surgical practices join forces for market strength
Business Courier of Cincinnati – by James Ritchie Staff Reporter
Cranley Surgical Associates has absorbed Northern Kentucky General and Vascular Surgeons, becoming a 15-doctor group in an era when medical practices are consolidating to develop market power. The combined group expects to have more clout in negotiating insurance reimbursement contracts, greater ability to buy technology and more efficiency in handling office administration.
Cranley, with locations in Monfort Heights and at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Edgewood, had 11 surgeons focusing on general and vascular procedures. Three surgeons from Northern Kentucky General and Vascular Surgeons, practicing in Edgewood and Cold Spring, have joined.
The deal took place Aug. 1.
Rounding out the group is newcomer Dr. Daniel Kim, who completed his vascular surgery fellowship recently at Good Samaritan Hospital. “It’s an easy clinical fit,” said Karen Palatchi, Cranley’s executive director. “And for doctors to have a seat at the table in managed care, it seems they’re going to have to have a sufficient group size.”
The groups will keep their current locations and names for now. In time the smaller group’s name will be phased out in favor of the Cranley name. Both practices’ support staff will remain on board.
The smaller group had found that the administrative side of medicine was growing too complicated for a small practice to handle.Dr. Jim Bardgett of Northern Kentucky General and Vascular Surgeons said he was beginning to have to spend time negotiating with insurance companies. He’d just as soon stick with surgery.
“There were no business classes when I went to medical school and through residency,” he said. “At that time it wasn’t needed to the extent that it is today. I’m willing to admit I’m not a good business person. I need people to help with that, people that have been trained to do that.”
Another perk of joining Cranley: The group has an electronic medical records system. It’s more efficient for the smaller practice to plug into that system than install one itself.