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How spine practices can maintain independence: 3 surgeon insights

By Admin | December 15, 2021

Rising overhead and decreasing reimbursements continue to challenge independent practices as consolidation continues to take hold across the healthcare industry.

Four surgeons discuss how independent practices can best position themselves to maintain autonomy and key partnerships they should consider.

Question: For spine practices wishing to stay independent, what strategic partnerships should they be considering? 

Patrick Roth, MD. New Jersey Brain and Spine (Oradell): In order to remain independent, bundled contracts for episodes of care must be at least partially owned by surgeons. In order to negotiate such contracts, surgeons must be part of large groups of surgeons partnered with hospital systems that can form the contracts upstream of insurance companies.

Isador Lieberman, MD. Texas Back Institute (Plano): Spine practices wishing to stay independent will need to evaluate their aspirations and resources when considering strategic partnerships. The principal reasons for a strategic partnership are to control overhead and optimize reimbursement. Under some circumstances, the drive to a strategic partnership is an effort to capture market share or gain negotiating strength. Further considerations can include practice governance, human resource management and how to handle ancillary activities.

The five fundamental issues to consider when evaluating a strategic partnership are:

1. Will the partnership provide access to new or better sources of revenue?
2. Will the partnership reduce overhead in the short term and in the long term?
3. Will the partnership allow the entity to stay independent or create an agreeable governance structure?
4. Will the partnership grandfather legacy assets?
5. Should the partnership fail, is there an equitable unwind and noncompete process?

The implementation of any strategic partnership will require a two-way due diligence process, and the practice that wishes to stay independent must make the effort to fully...(More)

For more info please read, How spine practices can maintain independence: 3 surgeon insights, by Becker's SpineReview

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