Texas network helps physicians to remain independent

In response to market changes connected to the move to value-based payment models, a group of physicians in North Texas created their own network to reap the benefits of larger-scale providers without compromising their autonomy as doctors, reports Medical Economics.

The quality reporting components of  MACRA, which have been a particular worry for small practices, have also led practices to seek out innovative ways to cut costs, as FiercePracticeManagement has previously reported. The pursuit of alternative payment models geared toward physicians’ values helped spawn the new network, called TXCIN, says Jim Walton, D.O., the organization’s president and CEO.

The alliance launched in July with over a thousand practices spanning both primary and specialty care. Physicians in the network get access to a common technology platform that helps to track data and coordinate care, generating cost reductions through physician coordination and data tracking that aids doctors in providing more efficient care. While the group contracts with payers, it does not negotiate rates or reimbursements, obviating the need for regulatory review, according to the article.

In essence, the setup allows physicians to band together and take advantage of economies of scale on the administrative side of the fence while retaining the flexibility and independence that go with being in a small or solo practice. While efficient care can generate cost savings on a broad scale, the expense involved in tracking and reporting quality metrics can be a burden. “There’s a battle for healthcare dollars, and if there is not a large enough army behind you, it can be difficult to compete,” says John Robert Bret, M.D., a network member.

That makes a doctor-driven initiative to provide practices with better information and performance measures attractive, especially for physicians who feel threatened or constricted by payer contracts in the value-based care marketplace, according to Walton.

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