Defending the solo and small practice neurologist

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Changes in health care are having a dramatic effect on the practice of medicine. In 2005, a National Center for Health Statistics survey showed that 55%–70% of physicians are in small/solo practices. These data also demonstrated that 70% of physicians identified themselves as owners. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, neurologists report an 8% increase in academic practice settings, a 2% decrease in private practice settings, and a 5% decrease in solo practice settings. Surveys of family physicians showed that 60% are now employees of hospitals or larger groups. A survey by The Physicians Foundation showed that 89% of physicians believed that the traditional model of independent private practice is either “on shaky ground” or “a dinosaur soon to go extinct.” With the changes expected from the ACA, solo/small practices will continue to face challenges and therefore must pay close attention to business and clinical metrics.

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