(HealthDay News) — Ways for physicians to remain in independent practice are highlighted in an article published August 7 in Medical Economics.

Many physicians are leaving independent practices and joining hospital systems as employees. However, to maintain autonomy, some physicians are joining organizations such as independent practice associations (IPAs). Advantages of IPAs include strengthening negotiation power by being aligned with other physicians, and sharing data, allowing physicians access to technology that they would not be able to afford independently.

According to Medical Economics, other alliances may suit physicians, with physician-hospital integration an appealing approach for some physicians, and independent practice groups another option. Finding high-impact savings is important, with building costs and personnel costs the biggest expenses. Physicians must also consider billing practices, collection from patients, re-examining fee schedules, and buying consortiums.

“IPAs are just one possible way to become more productive, free yourself from time-draining minutiae, and trim unnecessary costs to preserve your independence — without sacrificing your relationships with patients,” according to the article.

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