After 24 years of practice in Family Medicine, I find myself feeling frustrated with the possibility of not being able to continue as a private practitioner for
much longer. I left a faculty position 20 years ago, and an employed position 10 years ago, and I know that even with the challenges of practice ownership,
I can provide the most personal, quality and accountable care in private practice. As valuable as my practice is to Vermonters, one thing is certain, I need
options. I need an organization that will actively work to support my practice as it changes and to help shape those changes...not from an institutional
perspective...but from my and my patients' view. Being part of an organized effort, designed and directed by physicians,
will at least offer us a rare opportunity not only of survival, but of prosperity and satisfaction in practice."
Paul Reiss, M.D, Family Medicine Williston, Vermont
We invite you to participate in an exciting new statewide initiative created by Vermont physicians - Healthfirst, Inc.
Healthfirst was started in the fall of 2010 as a non-profit organization by several Vermont physicians who felt that it was becoming increasingly difficult to practice medicine in the current healthcare environment.
All health care providers face similar obstacles: the cost of delivering high quality individualized care to our patients continues to increase steadily but reimbursement for these services has stagnated or declined. As a result, many independent offices have been forced to close or have been taken over by larger organizations. In addition, healthcare politics (healthcare reform, rules and regulations) threaten the independence of private health care providers by favoring the big players in the health care market, large hospitals, health insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies. In contrast, private healthcare providers currently do not have a voice that is heard by those in charge of health care reform.
Given our limited time, and the many other constraints most of us deal with on a daily basis, these issues are difficult if not impossible to manage individually. Healthfirst is not striving to develop a large group practice, rather, we are creating a state wide support network of independent practices so we can continue to care for our patients in our existing form and in the current healthcare climate. Specifically, members of Healthfirst benefit from:
Taking advantage of potential volume based discounts such as: group rates for malpractice and health insurance premiums for physicians and their staff, banking and asset management fees; discounts for cell phone service, office supplies and furniture, laboratory and radiology materials.
Having access to local experts with know-how in strategic planning, healthcare reform (clinical and payment), anti-trust, law and contracting (non-risk/risk and shared savings).
Gaining a voice in the political process of meaningful healthcare reform.
We expect that these benefits will have a significant effect on lowering overhead cost for individual practices thereby ensuring that we can continue to deliver the best possible individualized care for our patients.