Physicians are under pressure from government payers and insurers to lower costs while improving quality of care. The profitability of individual practices depends on the reputation, cost, operational efficiencies, and expertise of the physician and staff. Large practices have advantages in leveraging administrative processes and expensive diagnostic equipment. Small practices compete effectively by providing specialized skills and good customer service. Population growth, injury and illness rates, and demographics play a role in demand for services. Physicians practicing in urban areas generally have several direct competitors in the immediate geographic area, while access to care may be restricted in rural communities.
Products, Operations & Technology
Operations of physician offices revolve around patient care, appointment scheduling, records management, and insurance processing. Typically, a patient makes an appointment several days or weeks before being seen, a medical record file is retrieved, the patient sees the doctor for less than 20 minutes, the doctor orders tests or prescribes treatment, the doctor's consultation and any test results or treatments are entered into the medical records, and the cost of the visit is billed to an insurance plan.