Large physician groups have long had a head start on solo and small practices in the medical marketplace because they can negotiate better health plan contracts. Now, a rising tide of evidence indicates that size also confers a quality advantage.
Researchers admit that the medical literature emerging on the relationship between group size and quality is far from a slam dunk. They argue, however, that bigger physician groups can pool capital to pay for electronic medical records systems and other quality initiatives that help them more reliably deliver guideline-based care.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, a small but growing movement of doctors is experimenting with a leaner model of medicine that they say improves the financial viability of solo and small-group practice and, most importantly, improves patient care.
The whole shebang.