by Robin Lasky
, Contributing Reporter | July 09, 2021
From the July 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
In light of dramatic changes to the U.S. healthcare landscape over the last two decades, an article published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology addresses key areas of concern for physician-owned radiology practices to focus on in order to remain independent and competitive.
Historically, the primary model for providing radiology services in the U.S. has been through independently physician-owned practices, which had been accepted as the most efficient arrangement for providing such services.
However, over the last two decades, technological innovation and increasing costs related to the introduction of new payment models, regulatory compliance, IT, and infrastructure have resulted in more competition from academic hospitals, and multispecialty consortiums.
The increased strain on independent radiology practices has resulted in a growing number of them being acquired by academic institutions for the purposes of regional expansion, or otherwise consolidated into or acquired by private radiology groups and corporate medical consortiums.
“Private equity and publicly traded radiology groups, whether radiology-specific or part of a multispecialty consortium, are aggregating the market,” the researchers wrote. “These groups present consolidation as an attractive alternative to handle constantly changing issues by offering significant payouts to current partners, promising a better work-life balance as employees, promoting economies of scale to consolidate administrative duties, providing robust IT, and complying with government regulations.”
Here are five critical factors for physician-owned independent radiology practices to focus on if they wish to remain that way, according to the JACR study, entitled Best Practices and Critical Factors in a Successful Private Practice
1. Lean into your strengths:
Independent community-based radiology practices, particularly in rural or other smaller healthcare markets, have the advantage of being able to offer more flexibility and individualized attention and care to the patients and hospitals they serve, compared with large corporate conglomerates and institutions.
Additionally, due to a smaller management structure, they are better able to structure the goals of the practice around the specific unique needs of the community practice area and build a reputation and loyalty around providing a superior service.