The Solo Practitioner gets quoted in national newspaper!!
So, to toot my own horn, here's the quote: "Automate, automate, automate! That is the name of the game. Make everything automatic, including billing."
The truth is where medical practice is going now with the micropractice and concierge medicine is that primary care doctors want to feel human again. The days of sacrificing our lifespans to take incomplete care of dozens upon dozens of patients are coming to an end. Seeing 30 - 40 patients a day, intercepting many more phone calls, writing innumerable medication scripts (which is what the insurance companies would have us doctors due in this current healthcare treadmill) is NOT within the human possibilities of primary care practice WHILE STILL PROVIDING GOOD CARE. Doctors, contrary to popular belief, are not superhuman. The truth is when you work that fast, you know you're missing things. You know you're not providing good quality care. Would you want to be a patient of someone operating in this model?
THE MICROPRACTICE FREES DOCTORS:
So the doctors that are choosing the micropractice model, which has a lot of similarities to the concierge model, are choosing it to practice GOOD MEDICINE again, that is also ENJOYABLE. Cause guess what, having to rush from patient to patient all day long (in 10-15 minute visits) and field call after call after call, is just not fun. It leaves you feeling inhuman. And someone who's feeling dehumanized cannot possibly provide good care to other humans. Lifestyle is once again important to doctors. We're going to fight back! And the micropractice model is just the beginning. Unfortunately, this model still functions (to some extent) within the confines of insurance payments. The best medicine would be practiced outside of the insurance umbrella dictating access to procedures and medicines and such; instead, using evidence-based care and quality of results as the rule for dictating care.
IS UNIONIZING THE NEXT STEP?
And last, but not least, beyond the micropractice, primary care doctors across this country should form a national union. Not to ever strike (for that would be unethical), but in order to form a unified, and very powerful bargaining voice with the insurance companies. As individuals, we lack power, but together we could really put a check on the insurance companies that now rule our profession with little counterbalance, other than costly and timely court proceedings (like the ones in Florida for price-fixing). In addition, a national union could lower the cost of supplies by purchasing them en-mass for its members, then reselling at a discount. A national union of doctors would actually help control the burgeoning cost of medicine in this country. The only true threat of disruption by a national or state-wide unions would be to the insurance companies. Doctors could now go to the insurance companies as a whole to meet their demands, or warn that all union members would drop that insurance plan. An insurance company without in-network doctors would suffer greatly. Patients will still get reimbursed for out-of-network care. The proposal is for a checks and balances between the insurance companies and doctors. Right now there is none, and doctors have basically sold their souls to the insurance companies for fear of losing patients. THIS IMBALANCE NEEDS TO END!!!