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Independent Group Practices = Personalized, Quality Patient Care

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How independent practices benefit patients.

Navigating the complex healthcare system is undoubtedly a difficult feat. Having options and the ability to make choices that best fit your medical needs is empowering and reassuring.

Working with and seeking medical advice from an Independent Group Practice provides an extra level of care and flexibility, while still having all the benefits of a large medical group. Says Brent Wilde, CEO of Stellis Health, “I began my career in the big health systems, including Fairview and the University [of Minnesota], and bigger has not proven to be better. We as consumers need more independence….”

So, What’s the Difference?

  • Independent Group Practice – A separate business entity that is organized and independently owned by a group of physicians and specialists, who are fully in charge of their own businesses.

  • Large Medical System – An organization that offers a range of medical services from physicians, clinical services, and specialists who strive to keep care within their system or specific health organizations.

Patient (and Physician) Benefits

Independent group practices provide a compelling solution to the continuously evolving demands of a complicated healthcare market. A major study found that physician-owned practices, “…. while providing a greater level of personalization and responsiveness to patient needs, have lower average cost per patient, fewer preventable hospital admissions, and lower readmission rates than larger, independent- and hospital-owned practices.” In fact, the total cost of care at Stellis Health is 13 percent lower than the Minnesota state average, according to the Minnesota Community Measurement nonprofit. More patient benefits include:

Enhanced Doctor-Patient Relationships

The autonomy of an independent physician is a great asset to patients. The doctor can take on as many patients as they feel works best for them; in turn, they can decide how many appointments they take daily. If a more complex case comes along, they can take more time directly with the patient. It also gives them the chance to ensure their patients understand the medical discussions they have together and allows for direct communications and follow-up.

Community Commitment

There is a wonderful, neighborly component to independent medical practices. The doctors and physicians themselves oftentimes also live within the community, reinforcing important relationships. If they happen to practice in the same building, one-stop “shopping” is quite convenient for patients.

Physician Freedom Reduces Burnout Rates

When given the independence to create their own practice style and make their own decisions, physicians can put together a model that is the healthiest and most optimal for themselves and their patients. In fact, a major study noted that independent physicians reported a significantly lower percentage of burnout compared to the national average – 13.5% versus 54.4%. As a patient, it is incredibly frustrating to forge a relationship with a physician, acquaint them with your medical history, and then have them leave the practice abruptly.

Peer Collaboration and Support

Even better, when independent physicians and specialists combine into an Independent Group, the combined years of experience, expertise, and cooperation directly benefits the patient. Physicians can collaborate and consult with each other and provide coverage for one another if an emergency should arise or assist with something as simple as a prescription refill.
Stellis Health is a prime example of a successful independent medical group. Owned by 20+ physicians, they have over 60 primary and specialty physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners in three locations—and Urgent Care on evenings, weekends, and holidays. Says Stellis Health President, Jason Halvorson, M.D., “As an independent group practice of primary and specialty physicians, we work with a variety of health systems and specialty physician groups so we can bring together the very best specialists and care for our patients. We want patients to know that they’ll be in good hands with us….”

Contact Stellis Health for more information.

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