March 27, 2013
My practice has been approached by a larger organization (a hospital) asking whether we would like to "affiliate" to get higher reimbursement. I'm not really sure what this would entail, but is this something I should look in to?
Yes, you may very well be able to remain independent and also receive higher rates of a larger organization, so, why not look into it? No harm, no foul by exploring so long as the exploration is done with care. Be sure to have in place a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement before sharing any of your practice information, and be sure to know all the facts prior to signing anything!!! We are happy to review any agreement presented to you or to prepare a non-disclosure on your behalf. Be sure to not let just anyone into your practice.
Oftentimes organizations are looking to tap into your patient base to access or quantify your patient data in exchange for extending rates. Signing up with one organization may exclude you from being able to sign up with others or from getting out of the contract you have signed without notice or penalty. While the benefit may be worth the effort, you want to ensure you are making an educated decision. Also, in the coming months/years we are likely to see an influx of "participating" options through hospitals, Independent Practice Associations and Accountable Care Organizations. If the physician collective bargaining bill passes in Albany, additional options may spring up as well. So at this stage you may want to focus your efforts on readying your practice for potential participation with a third party able to assist in reimbursement rates (meaning, EMR capable and meaningful use qualified), and exploring your options.