Only 39 Percent of physicians in independent practice now report Concierge, direct-pay models appeal to those who stay solo

December 31, 2012

The idea of a solo physician hanging a shingle at his or her own practice is quickly becoming a thing of the past, according to a new study from Accenture.

The idea of a solo physician hanging a shingle at his or her own practice is quickly becoming a thing of the past, according to a new study from Accenture.

The number of independent doctors dropped from 57% in 2000 to 39% in 2012, and Accenture’s report estimates that the number will continue to fall, to 36%, by the end of next year.

More than half of the physicians who left independent practice cited business operations for their decision to seek employment, with the cost and expense of running their own businesses listed as the chief concern for 87% of the independent physicians polled.

Those who decide to stick it out as independent practitioners will have some tough decisions to make in the months ahead. Accenture reports that one in three independent physicians will aim for higher yields through the adoption of subscription-based care models that shift the focus away from volume. Such models offer greater financial rewards but also allow doctors to “get back to the basics of patient care,” Accenture reports. Subscription-based practices commonly include concierge medicine and direct-pay models, and charges range from $60 to $30,000 per year.

Accenture’s report estimates that adoption of subscription-based care models will increased among independent physicians by 100% annually for the next 3 years.

The full report can be found at www.accenture.com. The survey polled a total of 204 physicians, with an equal split of primary care and specialty providers.