5 ways private practice may change 10 years from now

For better or for worse, private practice as we know it is changing. 

Eric Anderson, MD, co-founder and owner of Advanced Pain Institute of Texas in Lewisville, recently connected with Becker's to discuss what private practice could look like 10 years from now.

Dr. Eric Anderson: It's likely that private medical practice will continue to evolve in response to a changing healthcare landscape. Here are a few potential changes we might see in the next 10 years:

1. Continued market consolidation. With the ever-expanding cuts to the Medicare physician fee schedule, even if the current inflation act in legislation passes, it's very likely there will be fewer and fewer smaller private practices that will be able to accept Medicare insurance and remain solvent in the current economic environment. Hence, they will need to merge, close or be under a large organization with economically feasible rates.

2. Increase in use and utility of advanced practice providers. Regardless of whether or not you are for or against utilizing nurse practitioners or physician assistants in healthcare, the facts of the matter are there is a continued physician shortage that is worsening. This, coupled with the continued downward trend of the physician fee schedule, creates an environment where advanced practice providers are or become a central part of the healthcare model in this country.

3. Greater use of telemedicine. With the rise of remote healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's likely that telemedicine will become even more common in the coming years. This could make it easier for patients to access medical care from the comfort of their own homes and reduce the need for physical office visits.

4. More personalized care. As medical technology advances, it's likely that we'll see more personalized approaches to healthcare. For example, genetic testing could be used to identify patients at risk for certain diseases, and treatment plans could be tailored to individual patients based on their unique genetic makeup.

5. Increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already being used in some medical practices to improve patient outcomes and streamline administrative tasks. This trend is likely to continue in the coming years with AI and machine learning becoming even more sophisticated and integrated into medical practice.

Overall, it's likely that private medical practice will continue to adapt and evolve in response to changes in technology, healthcare policy and patient needs.

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