So long as we operate in a world with limited health care resources, physicians need to understand the financial consequences of their decisions as patients cannot bear this responsibility alone.
I am aware, though, that this trend will only continue for the simple reason that it makes financial sense. Interestingly, many large urology groups are now starting to emulate academic centers with doctors specializing in specific fields and more general urologists working in the trenches. Examples include North Shore Urology in Chicago, The Urology Group in Cincinnati, and Chesapeake Urology in Maryland.
I am also aware that I am not immune to the financial trends in medicine to which I am referring. My group is currently in the process of merging with the other urology group in town for the simple reason that we are stronger together.
What is the next step? Why simply have a large regional urology group if the model will work on a national level? Mayo Clinic has already done this (with branch hospitals in Jacksonville, FL and Scottsdale, AZ). Why not have a large private practice urology group, maybe even with the help of private money? Audax, a private equity group, just invested in Chesapeake Urology.
I don't have a crystal ball; my record at picking lottery numbers certainly supports that. But the trend toward larger more integrated health care systems seems obvious, and it is a trend that I do not think we, as a community, can avoid forever.
More from Urology Times: