Doctors Transform How They Practice Medicine

Dr. Thomas Bellavia transformed his traditional medical practice in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., into a so-called medical home where patients are seen by teams of doctors and nurses.  He says it has paid off in better, more coordinated care for his patients and healthier income for the nurse practitioners and physicians in his group.

Dr. Mark Holthouse took a different tack -- limiting his El Dorado, Calif., clinic to 400 patients a year, and adding services such as acupuncture and fitness coaching. He said he and his team now spend more time with patients, who pay a monthly fee of $220 for a package of basic services, on top of what their insurance plans reimburse the practice.

Like Bellavia and Holthouse, many doctors are changing how they work in response to turmoil in the health care system. Both newly minted and veteran physicians face economic uncertainty amid sharpening demands from the government and insurers to improve quality while curbing costs – trends that accelerated under the 2010 health care overhaul.

The buzz, and anxiety, in the medical profession is palpable – trade magazines tout new coping strategies, doctor groups discuss the transformation of practices. Physicians are experimenting with business models and new practice techniques, hoping to find work that is both financially and personally rewarding.

Go to top