It is no secret that the number of independent dermatology practices is shrinking. In fact, the 2017 American Academy of Dermatology Member Profile Report showed that 52% of dermatologists now are practicing in a group setting. While the pressures of practice management and shrinking reimbursements have made physicians more eager to partner with larger organizations, delivering the best care possible is still their mission.
More Than Metrics
The word quality is constantly battered around healthcare circles. However, physicians understand that the importance of quality measures and quality improvement goes beyond the scope of what it means for reimbursement. Outcomes are not simply data points – they affect people’s lives.
Ironically, many of the mandates put upon physicians to foster quality improvements are limiting their face-to-face patient time. And, as referenced above, this pressure is part of what’s leading physicians to abandon solo practice.
While physicians may be willing to take practice management off their plates, they are not willing to let go of their clinical autonomy. Physicians know that for their patients to get the best dermatological care, clinical decisions must be left to trained dermatologists.
When it comes to healthcare, quality should not just be a buzz word. To physicians, quality of care is about their patients.
A Culture of Quality
Active physician leadership and clinical autonomy are critical to ensuring quality of care remains the core focus within larger organizations.
From its inception, QualDerm has been committed to preserving its affiliated physicians’ clinical autonomy and has sought the input of these physicians to help guide the company’s growth. The company’s policies on training and supervising PAs is one example of this commitment.
QualDerm understands that utilizing PAs is an important element in expanding patients’ access to dermatological care, and is at the forefront of setting standards to ensure quality of care. QualDerm worked with its affiliated physicians to develop strict guidelines for the training and ongoing supervision of PAs. These guidelines are followed by all QualDerm-affiliated practices. Additionally, each of QualDerm’s 20 practice locations has a Board-certified dermatologist on staff. It is up to the discretion of the supervising dermatologist to determine when a PA is ready to independently see patients.
To further solidify its focus on quality, QualDerm recently announced the formation of its physician-lead Quality Council. The Quality Council was established to oversee the clinical excellence and frameworks of QualDerm’s affiliate practices and is responsible for helping oversee patient safety, clinical quality, clinical risk management and patient satisfaction. The dermatologists who serve on the Quality Council will work to develop industry best practice procedures that can be implemented in QualDerm’s affiliate practices. The Council will also advise QualDerm leadership on other clinical and practice management issues. QualDerm established this Council to ensure its affiliated practices’ quality of care remains at the highest level.
Learn more about how QualDerm’s commitment to quality and physician’s clinical autonomy can help your practice thrive in the age of industry consolidation.
Contact us to find out about partnership opportunities or to discuss selling your practice.