What's next in GI: A post-healthcare reform world

A practicing gastroenterologist shares what he believes will be the next big challenge after healthcare reform.

Ask a Gastroenterologist is a weekly series of questions posed to GI physicians around the country on business and clinical issues affecting the field of gastroenterology. We invite all gastroenterologists to submit responses.

Next week's question: What is the most challenging non-patient care aspect of GI practice?

Please submit responses to Carrie Pallardy at cpallardy@beckershealthcare.com by Thursday, September 17, at 5 p.m. CST.

Elliot Ellis, MD, Team Lead, EMA Gastroenterology, Modernizing Medicine: The effects - either positive or negative - of healthcare reform are a huge question mark. Moving forward, gastroenterologists need to be cognizant of the challenges to remain independent when the trend sees more hospitals purchasing lucrative practices. The best defense is a well-planned offense, in this case ensuring you run a solid business. This is not news and physicians can't simply leave it up to their office manager - they need to be an active partner. This means IT systems built for their needs including specialty-specific practice management and electronic health record systems, the right staff in place with the proper training and credentials, etc. Even if you do decide that becoming a hospital employee is the best route for you, you'll have more leverage and negotiating power with the administration the more profitable your practice.

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