Private Practices

Expert tips help doctors navigate private practice challenges

Kevin B. O'Reilly , Senior News Editor

Thriving as a physician in private practice has arguably never been more challenging. At the same time, amid the increasing corporate consolidation of U.S. medicine, the autonomy afforded by private practice has lasting and powerful appeal to many physicians—whether they are just finishing residency or already well into their careers.

Keep your practice running

The AMA is fighting to keep private practice a viable option for physicians. We're working to remove unnecessary burdens so physicians can reclaim the time they need to focus on patients. 

It takes astute clinical judgment as well as a commitment to collaboration and solving challenging problems to succeed in independent settings that are often fluid, and the AMA offers the resources and support physicians need to start off right on the path to success in private practice.

That includes a series of 10 episodes—“Private Practice: Attending to Business”—that are part of the “AMA STEPS Forward® Podcast.”

The episodes are co-hosted by Taylor Johnson, the AMA’s manager of physician practice development, and Meghan Kwiatkowski, program manager of private practice sustainability at the AMA. Together, they share information and resources to help physicians navigate medical practice business operations and efficiency solutions to create and support a thriving business.

  1. Starting Your Own Private Practice

    1. What needs to be considered when starting a private practice? Topics covered in this podcast include determining whether starting a private practice is right for a physician, what needs to be implemented when starting out, and lessons learned from an experienced private practice physician.
  2. Private Practice Efficiencies

    1. This episode details common workflow challenges facing private practices and the ways that physicians can streamline processes to increase staff productivity. Learn how to assess the efficiency of your practice, what you can expect from your team, and what AMA resources are available to support physicians throughout the process.
  3. Transitioning Into Private Practice From Residency

    1. What needs to be considered when transitioning into running or joining a private practice? Topics include determining interest and exposure to private practices, how resident physicians can get experience, and what key challenges are when transitioning into private practice.

  4. Sustaining Your Private Practice

    1. This episode focuses on how to sustain a physician private practice by mitigating risks, leveraging one's network, and how research can be used to support practices. Topics include the importance of remaining nimble in your practice, available resources, and what the AMA is doing to help practices become more sustainable.

  5. Telehealth Services for Private Practice

    1. Learn more about continuing to leverage telehealth and virtual care to provide patient care. This episode reviews the “AMA Telehealth Implementation Playbook,” its connection to the “AMA STEPS Forward Private Practice Playbook,” and overall efficiencies in practice.
  6. Contracting in Private Practice

    1. This episode underscores the importance of knowing your practice and your area, but also engaging with experienced counsel wherever possible during the contracting process so that they can guide you and your practice in the right direction.

  7. Private Practice Administrative Issues Part I

    1. Learn more about the administrative issues that private practices deal with on a regular basis. This first of two parts focuses on staffing, scheduling and supply management.
  8. Private Practice Administrative Issues Part II

    1. This second of two episodes on administrative covers revenue-cycle concerns, payor audits and prior authorization.
  9. Private Practice Payment Models

    1. The health care landscape is changing rapidly, driven by factors such as the growth of payment models other than fee for service, regulatory changes, technology and consumer demands. This episode covers the impact of payment models on physician private practices and helps doctors overwhelmed by the information available find out where to start.

  10. Social Determinants of Health in Private Practice

    1. This podcast addresses ways to engage communities and leadership, assess social determinants of health at a patient level, link patients to resources, and define a plan for private practices.

The “Private Practice: Attending to Business” episodes are part of the AMA Ed Hub™ and the associated CME activities are each designated by the AMA for a for a maximum of 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Learn more about AMA CME accreditation.

Also, learn about the AMA Private Practice Physicians Section, which seeks to preserve the freedom, independence and integrity of private practice.