President & Founder of Independent Physicians Network
In order to 'keep the lights on,' caregivers have had to increase the number of interactions per day. It is not difficult to see who loses in this scenario...
Spending most of his youth growing up in Pensacola influenced by his dad's career as a marine biologist and physiologist, Mark Chaet developed a life-long interest in physiology and zoology.
Both parents had a passion for teaching that "has been an important and powerful influence in my life," he said. "Although there had been no physicians in our family, the pursuit of a medical career was something that came quite naturally to me early on."
Now, with a daughter in her second year of medical school, he looks to the future of medicine.
"The changes in the business of medicine have changed the practice of medicine by decreasing two measurable factors - time spent with patients and financial reward for that time. In order to 'keep the lights on,' caregivers have had to increase the number of interactions per day. It is not difficult to see who loses in this scenario," he said.
Chaet, a Pediatric Surgeon and president and founder of Independent Physicians Network (IPN), has chosen to remain an independent physician because he sees it as the best way to care for his patients.
"IPN was founded to create a place where the independent physician could find support and advice on how to continue to succeed in today's ever-changing medical environment. With a national trend of physicians becoming employees, we sought to optimize the potential of those who chose another path," he said.
Chaet says the DNA of the independent physician model is all about the physician/patient relationship and doesn't see a reason to shift that focus. From the beginning, he saw IPN as a means for physician support to allow them to better meet the needs of patients.
"IPN has had great success working with payors on value-based shared savings programs. Our physicians practice high quality medicine and utilize a network of outpatient facilities. Through the judicious use of these independently-owned, high-quality entities, IPN physicians have demonstrated that healthcare delivery can be both top box in medical outcomes and patient satisfaction while being economically sound," he said.
Chaet stressed that the commercial payors have known for decades that when a group of physicians get together with a plan, the insurance companies 'win.' Now, the physicians and patients can benefit from the winning formula as well, he said.
"The costs of medical care have steadily grown while the quality has been stagnant. The network that our physicians have built is designed to improve patient care and outcomes while avoiding unnecessary emergency room or hospital visits. Our outpatient ancillary care facilities and urgent care centers direct those who need hospital level acuity of care to the hospitals while keeping the remainder, and majority, of patients under the care of their own physicians," he emphasized.
Chaet reminds that the entire system of healthcare in the U.S. depends on well-trained and dedicated caregivers.
"Decades of experience supports the notion that opportunities for these individuals should include both hospital-based jobs and independent practice. The media has made a big deal about how being the most expensive healthcare system in the world hasn't made us the best in the world. I firmly believe that U.S. medical care is the best in the world - and we have the tools to make it more economically sound. Organizations such as IPN are poised to do just that."