First, let’s define what a physician-owned clinic is. You may have heard of “independent practices,” “private practices,” or “doctor-owned clinics.” All of these terms describe a healthcare organization where the physicians not only provide the care, but they are also the owners of the business.
OSMS is an example of a physician-owned clinic. OSMS doctors make up the board of directors along with the CEO, and they make the business decisions that ultimately affect the patient experience.
Many perceptions exist about the cost and quality of “independent” or “physician-owned” medical practices. We are going to show you the truth behind three of of the most common myths about this type of clinic.
Myth 1: Doctor-owned clinics are small and outdated.
The Truth: Doctor-owned clinics can vary in size and specialty. While some may only have one or a few providers, many others feature larger groups of physicians. For example, as of this September, OSMS will have 14 physicians who specialize in a variety of orthopedic and rheumatologic services, including:
- Sports medicine
- Joint replacements
- Arthritis care
- Fracture care
- Hand-to-shoulder care
- Foot and ankle care
- Pediatric rheumatology
- Adult rheumatology
Plus, they often provide other supporting services such as X-ray, MRI, and lab services onsite to ensure the most convenient experience for their patients.
Many doctor-owned specialty clinics also own, or partially own, freestanding surgery centers where they can perform outpatient surgeries outside of the hospital setting. These types of facilities are called ambulatory surgery centers, and they are known for their high quality, high patient satisfaction rates, and lower costs. OSMS is a a co-owner of the Bellin Orthopedic Surgery Center (BOSC), located onsite at the OSMS Green Bay clinic.
As both the care providers and the business owners, physicians at independent clinics are motivated to make business decisions that will ensure the best possible patient experience. For example, if updating the onsite MRI machine is going to provide better patient care, then the physicians have the authority to make that purchase decision.
Myth 2: Doctor-owned clinics are more expensive.
The Truth: Many times the cost of your overall care will be less expensive at a doctor-owned clinic than seeing the same type of specialist at a larger healthcare system. One reason for this is that physician-owned clinics typically focus on one or a only a few areas of medicine like orthopedics, gastroenterology, or OB/GYN. This allows for a more efficient, lower-overhead environment that can help keep overall costs down.
Another benefit that OSMS provides patients as a doctor-owned clinic is the ability to see a physician without a referral (unless required by your specific insurance). This cuts down on the number of appointments you need to get a diagnosis for an orthopedic or rheumatologic condition; ultimately, reducing the cost of your care. It also helps patients get to a diagnosis more quickly and be on the path to treatment or recovery more quickly. So patients can see cost and time savings.
Plus, if you need surgery and the physician-owned clinic has an outpatient surgery center, your surgery may actually cost less too. For example, surgeries performed at BOSC cost on average 40% less than the same procedure performed in a hospital setting.
Myth 3: Doctor-owned clinics won’t accept my insurance.
The Truth: Just like a larger health system, doctor-owned clinics can negotiate contracts with all different types of insurance plans and companies. In most cases, they will have contracts with many plans to ensure they are accessible to patients with primary care providers at multiple health systems.
OSMS accepts most insurance plans. You can see a list of the major ones here.