Still, Dr. Alam understands that working for a conglomerate is not ideal for all otolaryngologists. Clinic employees come to work, provide care for patients and collect a paycheck. They have less control over their schedules and their patient loads than a solo practitioner does. They can’t choose to work added hours to reach higher financial thresholds.
“It has to do with the personality of the individual and the type of practice they’re interested in developing,” Dr. Alam said. “The advantage of a Cleveland Clinic model is it gives you all the advantages of a tertiary-care hospital, but we don’t have any of the [business-side] burden.”
Even with the potential downsides of schedule control and the earnings ceiling, Dr. Alam expects the largest health plans to get larger. As the government reforms payment systems to reward efficiency, it only makes sense that the most efficient organizations will thrive.