Editor’s note: This article is the second of a 3-part series.

Click here for the first article in this three-article series.

As a growing number of physicians consider divesting their practices to adapt to today’s practice environment, there are many factors to consider. It is a big decision that impacts both job satisfaction and the ability to meet future challenges. 

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Considering personal short- and long-term goals, as well as the various pros and cons that correspond with different options, will help you make a decision that is personally and professionally satisfying. In Part 1, we discussed how several challenges — including the shift away from fee-for-service to value-based payments — are pushing physicians to consider different business models. Partnering with another organization may provide multiple benefits, including support for participating in new value-based agreements, infrastructure to comply with increasingly complex and burdensome regulations and, most importantly, access to the capital needed to fund technological investments and growth.

Should you consider a strategic partnership? Here are a few questions to help guide your thought process:

  • Are you working harder to maintain your current level of annual income?
  • Have you had to sacrifice work-life balance to maintain your income goals?
  • Have you become disillusioned with the complexity of managing your practice, and is this impacting your satisfaction?

If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” it is worth further examining new practice models.

However, before we dive into the various pros and cons of different options, it is important to note that this is a highly individualized decision that hinges on both personal preferences and local market dynamics. Consider the competitive landscape in your market. Is there a large health system or nephrology group that could employ you? Is there interest from large dialysis providers? How about independent groups in the community that might be interested in consolidating? Depending on the answers to these questions, not all of the following options will be available to every nephrologist.

Option 1: Do nothing – stay independent

Pros: It may be tempting to do nothing. After all, it keeps the status quo intact, meaning no change in accountability, independence, or your current processes —clinical or administrative.

Cons: Given the current environment, this could be a risky proposition that results in your practice losing value over time. With the shift to value-based payments, size matters. For instance, if your practice is too small, it could negatively impact your leverage in negotiating contracts. In addition, remaining independent may hinder your ability to recruit new physicians as they consider the long-term viability of your practice.

This article originally appeared on Renal and Urology News