Feature November 3, 2021 John Bernot, MD

The rise of the supergroup: 5 ways to mitigate the challenges of practice consolidation

Learn how a personal surgery guide can help your practice avoid the growing pains of practice consolidations.

practice consolidation with ayva

As of 2021, nearly 70% of providers are employed in a group setting.1

The shift to larger practices has accelerated over the past few years with the percentage of practices with at least 50 physicians jumping from 14.7% in 2018 to 17.2% in 2020.1

practice consolidation with Ayva

As of this writing, there are 13 orthopaedic supergroups with more than 100 physicians.

A ‘supergroup’ is an evolution in the private practice model that enables physicians to retain their autonomy while leveraging economies of scale.3  

Physician practices that join increasingly larger supergroups realize many financial benefits, but the consolidation can also create operational chaos for practice administrators and their support staff.

Read on to learn about:

  • Benefits of supergroups
  • Challenges of practice consolidations
  • Strategies for mitigating the challenges and optimizing the benefits

Advantages of large practices

There are many benefits of consolidating physician practices into larger supergroups, including the opportunity to: 

  • Share the administrative burden of managing a practice
  • Negotiate better contracts with payers and realize higher reimbursements 
  • Participate in multiple value-based care programs and alternative payment models

Physicians employed by hospitals and health systems can also take advantage of economies of scale. However, they are also subject to the rules and regulations of the larger healthcare organization and do not necessarily retain the independence they crave. 

Post-merger challenges

Spoiler alert: joining a supergroup isn’t all wine and roses﹣especially for practice administrators and support staff.

The weeks and months after merging with another group can be chaotic.

Practice management staff must identify and reduce redundancies without disrupting the quality of care or negatively impacting the patient experience. 

Practice managers must address day-to-day initiatives such as: 

  • Standardization of processes, procedures, and workflows
  • Synchronization of patient communications 
  • Coordination of resources and systems
  • Collection of patient-reported outcome measures 
  • Identification and management of regional differences in population health

5 tips to mitigate challenges and optimize benefits

After a merger, it’s critical to minimize disruption to the patient experience. 

While there are sure to be some hiccups, implementing a personal surgery guide to help your patients thrive before and after surgery can help during the transition. 

Here’s how a personal surgery guide can mitigate consolidation challenges while maximizing the benefits: 

  1. Standardize outgoing communications and educational materials. Information coming from multiple sources that look different can be confusing to your patients. Even though your organization is going through a merger, ensuring your patients are ready for surgery and have the best shot of following post-op recovery protocols is still your top priority.
  2. Identify and manage social determinants of health for new patient populations. As a result of consolidation, you’re likely to encounter and treat new patients from different communities. It’s critical that your care team can collect SDOH data﹣which is not found in the EHR﹣to identify patient risk factors and offer interventions. 
  3. Find ways to connect with patients outside of the healthcare setting. As a practice grows, answering your patients’ questions about pre- and post-op task adherence, as well as providing peace of mind, can be difficult. The ability for patients to check care plans 24/7/365, receive task reminders, and gain reassurance that they’re adhering to protocols via text can make all the difference.  
  4. Distribute and collect patient satisfaction surveys online. Distributing patient satisfaction surveys online is one of the easiest ways to measure if your patients’ needs are being met after a practice consolidation. 
  5. Make it easy for patients to share patient-reported outcomes measures (PROMs). Now that your practice has the staff and resources to participate in value-based care programs, you need to have the infrastructure that makes it easy to collect patient-reported outcomes data.

Why supergroups need Ayva

As more and more physicians join ever-growing physician practice supergroups, minimizing the disruption to your patients while maximizing the benefits of consolidation is essential.

Meet Ayva, the personal surgery guide that can help your practice avoid the growing pains of practice consolidations.

Meet Ayva today!

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Bravado Health

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