Physicians don't regret selling practices

Challenges related to the Affordable Care Act pushed nearly one-third of physicians who sold their practices within the past three years to sell, according to a national survey from staffing firm Jackson Healthcare. The findings support previous research predicting physicians' 'silent exodus' amid health reform.

What's more, a second survey from the firm found that sellers initiated 60 percent of hospitals' practice acquisitions in 2013, according to an article from Family Practice News.

"The practice of medicine has increasingly become more complex," Sheri Sorrell, director of market research for Jackson Healthcare, told FPN. This complexity includes "getting reimbursement and the amount of paperwork, and the amount of regulations [doctors] have to deal with. They can't keep up with all the regulations. At least if they are selling to a hospital, the hospital has those resources [to comply]," she said.

The cost related to compliance with the Affordable Care Act was among the reasons Georgia surgeon Ian Hamilton Jr., M.D., sold his practice in 2013, according to the article. Hamilton ultimately decided not to work for the hospital he sold to, and is still searching for nonclinical positions. But he's pleased with his choice.

"For me it was a very good decision," he told FPN. "I'm very happy I was able to get the equity out of my practice that I built over 11 years. For me it was a very timely and very wonderful opportunity."

Despite declining practice sales prices, Jackson Healthcare found that the majority of physician sellers agreed with Hamilton. Fifty-five percent of physicians who sold said they do not miss private practice, while 60 percent said they are satisfied or very satisfied with their decision. Seventy-six percent of physician sellers said they would make the same choice again.

To learn more:
- access the first and second survey from Jackson Healthcare
- read the article from FPN