Optometric Practice Options

SOLO PRACTICE
· Independence
· Clinical autonomy
· Immediate rewards for efficiency

· Risk for practice and clinical management
· Must develop own patient base
· No financial cushion
SMALL INDEPENDENT GROUP PRACTICE
· Greater role in governance than large group
· Shared risk and overhead

· Responsible for colleagues' performance
· Less independence than solo
· Shared financial losses
LARGE INDEPENDENT GROUP PRACTICE
· More optometrists to spread overhead costs and financial risk
· Clinical synergy
· Referral opportunities

· Reduced independence
· Reduced governance role
· Liability for group financial and clinical performance
GROUP PRACTICE MANAGED BY MANAGEMENT SERVICE ORGANIZATION
· Relief from administrative burdens
· Access to management expertise
· Access to capital

· Less control over practice
· Less clinical autonomy
INDEPENDENT PRACTICE ASSOCIATION
· Attracts managed care business
· Develops referral relationships
· Maintains independence
· You may not be involved in contract negotiation
· Shared cost of operations
· Expensive to maintain infrastructure

PHYSICIAN HOSPITAL ORGANIZATION
· Attracts managed care business
· Shared risk with hospital
· Hospital usually has control
· Some payers resist negotiating with PHOs
· May be tied to inefficient hospital

EMPLOYEE STATUS
· Low financial risk
· Guaranteed paycheck
· Relief from practice administration
· Limited income growth potential
· Little independence or control
· Future tied to organization's success

PHYSICIAN-OWNED HMO
· Clinical control
· Self-governance
· Very expensive
· Requires compliance with complex regulations

SPECIALTY CARE NETWORK
· Easily marketed
· Long-term potential for growth specialties

· Only attractive to payers if services are needed.
MULTISPECIALTY NETWORK
· Practitioner controlled
· Attracts managed care
· Referral opportunities

· Can be difficult to get primary and specialty practitioners to work closely together

NOTE:  Variations and combinations of these and other structures are possible.  A business consultant or attorney can help determine which fits your need.