Why independent physicians could have more power than employed counterparts: Viewpoint

As physicians migrate to employed models, many are concerned that private practice physicians are losing their power.

Vladimir Sinkov, MD, a surgeon at Las Vegas-based Sinkov Spine, joined Becker's to discuss why he feels private practice physicians have more power than employed physicians. 

Editor's note: This response was edited lightly for clarity and length.

Dr. Vladimir Sinkov: Private practice physicians have more power in healthcare than their employed counterparts. Private practice physicians at least have some control over what insurance contracts they sign, where they practice, which hospitals they chose to go to operate or admit patients and what schedule they have. Employed physicians frequently relinquish those decisions to their administrators.

All physicians, however, have been gradually giving up their power to control the healthcare system. The main reasons for that include a lack of understanding of the financial aspects of the current healthcare system and the resulting unreasonable fear of financial loss as well as desire to 'just practice medicine' instead of getting involved in policy decisions. The rest of the healthcare entities (federal and state governments, health insurance companies, hospital systems) exploit these 'weaknesses' and continue to assert more and more control over the physicians — the actual providers of healthcare.    

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