Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Direct Independent Practice:  How To Put Yourself Out of Your Misery

Nine of 10 doctors discourage others from joining the profession, and 300 physicians commit suicide every year. When did it get this bad? 

By the end of this year, it’s estimated that 300 physicians will commit suicide. While depression amongst physicians is not new—a few years back, it was named the second-most suicidal occupation—the level of sheer unhappiness amongst physicians is on the rise.
Simply put, being a doctor has become a miserable and humiliating undertaking. Indeed, many doctors feel that America has declared war on physicians—and both physicians and patients are the losers.

“How Being a Doctor Became a Miserable Profession,” The Daily Beast, April 15, 2014

Doctors are not as miserable  as sometimes portrayed.   When they are miserable,  they have ways of putting themselves out of their misery.  

They can commit suicide.

They can marry another doctor, and with their joint income, live very well.

They can become a highly paid specialist – a radiologist, anesthesiologist, orthopedic surgeon, ophthalmologist,  dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon .

They can go to work for the hospital at a fixed base income, with supplements for productivity.

They can become a politician and go to Congress to change the world for the better.
Of, if they are a primary care physician,  they can escape the fetters of government and insurers, by going into  direct independent practice (DIP).

DIP has its advantages – You can practice medicine will less rules and overhead.  You won’t have to  code or to call insurers for permission.  You will need less staff.   Your cash  flow and accounts receivable  problems will  become history. You can offer your patients more services for less money than under existing health plans.  You can spend more time with patients.   You can develop more personal relationships.

DIP has disadvantages as well.   It is a financial risk.   You will have to drop patients from your existing panel of patients to deliver on your promises of instant availability, same day scheduling,  unlimited time for office visits, cash discounts for your services.  Other problems may crop up.   You will be criticized for contributing to the doctor shortage,  particularly for Medicare patients.  You may become persona non grata among your liberal friends.    Your new brand of practice may become illegal in some states where the legislatures rule that accepting Medicare and Medicaid patients is a condition for medical licensure.  You  will have to develop new relationships with your patients, with the hospital, and with fellow physicians.  You may to develop a marketing plan to make your new practice known to local businesses and community organizations.

Tweet:  For some primary care physician,  life has become miserable.  But these physicians have options offering ways to put themselves out of their misery.

No comments: