These days, clinicians having their own private practices seems as old school as bloodletting and citing Sigmund Freud. While they were once the norm for physicians, therapists, and other medical professionals, over time hospital networks and integrated care systems have scooped up practitioners, cutting down the number of private practices.
There are some practical reasons that clinicians join these networks—primarily the fact that it cuts out the need to sort out your own legal and business frameworks. But where starting a private practice was once a complex undertaking, technology and services like Ease have streamlined the process, making starting your own private practice accessible and simple.
Far from a relic of the past, private practices are coming back as a way for clinicians to better connect with patients and help local communities thrive.
There are many great reasons to start a private practice rather than joining a network.
Clinicians owning their own practices was once the default way to treat patients, but that has changed over time. The American Medical Association has been tracking this data since 2012, and 2021 was the first time the AMA recorded that less than half of physicians were operating private practices, at 49.1%. That’s down from 54% in their 2018 survey.
Over the years, hospitals and integrated networks have been acquiring private practices and others have merged into larger systems. The AMA also noted that younger physicians, often saddled with student debt, are turning to these networks more quickly than their older peers.
Private practices aren’t just good for the health of patients, they’re good for the health of communities, bringing jobs and investment wherever they go. The AMA’s Economic Impact Study found that 736,873 physicians in the United States supported 12.6 million jobs, for an average of 17.1 jobs created per physician, either directly or indirectly. Additionally, these physicians generated $2.3 trillion in economic activity across the US. That translates to support for local taxes and communities.
For patients in the Gen Z cohort, healthcare looks radically different. Rather than relying on networks and being told where to seek care, Gen Z is taking a DIY approach. According to a report from Able and Spingbank, Gen Z is opting to create a “patchwork” of personalized care, seeking out clinicians that fit their individual needs. They also discover practitioners the way they discover brands—on social media, or through word of mouth. In fact, 60% said they’ve been impacted by social media influencers when it comes to making healthcare decisions. On top of that, Gen Z cares about the demographics of their providers—they’re seeking out clinicians that will understand their cultural backgrounds and identities.
Running a private practice means you can market yourself as a solution to Gen Z patients. Going out on your own means being able to highlight what makes you different, your own culture and identity, and connect with patients on social media.
There are many reasons clinicians may be hesitant to start a private practice, like confusion around regulations, student debt, or lack of business experience. But with Ease, the complexity is taken care of for you, so you can focus on what you do best.
On a single platform, Ease can assist you in setting up and managing the aspects of running a private practice that can keep you away from patients, such as:
For one low cost, Ease becomes the central nerve system of your private practice, giving you a streamlined workspace to run your practice and spend more of your energy caring for patients.
Even though Ease makes it easier than ever to start a private practice, it will also be there for you every step of the way. The Ease Fellowship is a six week course that teaches you how to launch, grow, and manage a private practice. Learn from mentors and fellow clinicians in live sessions to create your own thriving business.
Joining Ease means joining a community of fellow clinicians with a common goal of making health care more accessible for everyone. The Ease community provides access to other Fellows so you can learn and grow together.
We can change the tide of health care and return to closer clinician-to-patient care. Starting and running a private practice has never been more accessible, and Ease can help get you there.