Mega-groups boast advantages of going big

Are you an entrepreneurial physician not sold entirely on the idea of solo practice or hospital employment? If so, you may want to consider another emerging option: the mega-group.

A mega-group is one organization made up of a number of single- or multi-specialty practices, according to Healthcare Finance News. These groups may have their own areas of focus, but all share one tax identification number, centralized billing, collections, accounting, information technology and human resources.

Examples of mega-groups provided in the HFN article include the 14-site Illinois Gastroenterology Group (IGG), making it the largest GI group in the state, and Women's Healthcare Associates, LLC, in Portland, Ore., which offers patients access to numerous subspecialties as well as on-site mammography, ultrasounds and labs.

Both practices were formed out of leaderships' desire to maintain a strong position in a marketplace increasingly full of hospital-owned groups. IGG raised the capital to form a mega-group by establishing its own pathology company to read the many specimens it processes, and has future plans to form an accountable care organization focused on Crohn's disease management.

But size and ambition aren't all it takes to succeed as a mega-group, Nick Fabrizio, a consultant with Medical Group Management Association, told HFN. Women's Healthcare, for example, is made up of 15 committees keeping all of the details in order. Fabrizio also cautioned practices to work with an attorney to avoid running afoul of any Stark or anti-competitive regulations.

To learn more:
- read the HFN article