In an effort to help physicians see another way, the foundation has developed technological solutions aimed at the independent physician office, and they are committed to helping educate physicians on the realities of running a business, even one that's challenged by healthcare reform.
Together with Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, the Physicians Foundation hosts a three-day educational institute with Kellogg professors at which presidents of state medical societies learn negotiating skills and other business concepts so they have a toolkit to deal with hospitals, insurance companies, and employers.
Further, they've developed a Roadmap for Physicians to Health Care Reform, a simplified guide for independent physicians that "explains to physicians in straight English what the Affordable Care Act means to the doctor and his patients and what opportunities they might have to participate," says Goodman.
He hopes these efforts encourage physicians of an independent bent that they can maintain that, though he concedes it's a tough sell sometimes. Goodman says that many of the physicians who initially choose employment with a hospital or large group also choose to leave that position after three to five years. Whether or not they go to another employed position is immaterial, he says. They need other options.
"They feel under pressure, stress, unappreciated, overworked, and treated more like housekeeping than the fine professionals that they are," says Goodman. "But there's no medicine without physicians."