Although it’s a question not many people think to ask when seeking a dermatologist for medical or cosmetic treatment, it’s worth knowing whether the practice is independently owned and operated or if other players, such as hospitals and private equity, are involved.
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. David Baird is the owner, proprietor, and physician of Baird, MD, which allows him to provide the highest level of care and commitment to his patients.
What is a Private Practice Dermatologist?
A private practice, whether in dermatology or some other field of medicine, is one that is owned and operated by the doctor who is practicing there. This is different than practices that are run by hospital systems, which set prices, dictate which procedures can be performed and when, how much money the practice needs to make, and the list goes on.
In a private practice, the doctor answers to no one except the medical doctor owners and their chosen business partners, if any. They make the decisions on what equipment to invest in, what procedures they offer, and how patients are cared for.
What is Private Equity?
Private equity is business, groups of people, or individuals who buy healthcare practices in order to make a profit. When physicians are bought by private equity or large hospitals, they lose control of their decisions, which are now controlled by policies, profit margins, and business leaders, rather than medical professionals.
Why Does Independence Matter?
Dr. Baird values independence because it’s simply the best model for patient care. When controlled by external stakeholders, doctors may be incentivized to offer procedures that aren’t in patients’ best interest because of these restrictions and profit incentives, which leads to a breakdown in quality of care. Due to the rise of privately owned practices in the last decade, dermatologic care has changed significantly, negatively impacting patient care.
Valuing profits over quality medical care has a two-fold effect. First, pressure to reduce costs means that patients are more often seen by lower hourly rate technicians like physician assistants and nurse practitioners, rather than the doctor. On the other hand, attention on profit margins may make a doctor prescribe a more expensive or lucrative procedure or treatment rather than the economical one. This costs insurers and patients more money and runs the risk of under-qualified employees performing unnecessary procedures.
How To Find Out if A Practice is Privately Owned
If you do a little research, you can quickly find out if a firm is privately owned by digging around on their website. Often, independent providers will advertise they’re not owned by private equity, whereas private equity may be less willing to reveal that information. Check if the dermatologist is associated with any other large practices that may also be owned by the investors or hospital and read reviews to see if other patients have ever been seen by the doctor or if they’ve only ever seen PAs.
Experience the Independent Difference
Dr. Baird knows that independence increases trust between him and his patients. When you visit our Farmington office, you can be assured that the care you receive is what’s best for you, not what’s best for investors. Whether you’ve got a medical concern or are looking for a highly trained cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Baird is here to help. Get started by calling our office or contacting us online today.