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How IPAs Impact Physicians and Healthcare

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

What is an independent physician association (IPA)? An IPA is a network of autonomous healthcare practitioners that join together to pursue business undertakings such as contracts with insurance companies, accountable care organizations (ACO) and/or managed care organizations (MCOs).



The goal of these IPAs is multifaceted, including positive benefits such as healthcare delivery innovation, acceleration of health outcomes through unification, and reduction of overhead costs. IPAs are designed to contract with Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and other managed care organizations (MCOs) as a unit, benefiting the member physicians and their patients.


When an HMO or other managed care plan signs a contract with an IPA, the member independent healthcare practitioners are also contracted - this means members are able to treat patients with the contracted insurance at discounted fees or on a capitation basis. Typical IPAs incorporate all specialties, but some IPAs will specialize in a specific type of healthcare practice - such as primary care, cardiology, and social services.





Independent physician associations play an important role in the healthcare sector - giving physicians a united voice in the pursuit of efficient healthcare. While remaining independent (that is, practicing outside of a major health organization like a hospital), individual practitioners utilize IPAs for more freedom and fewer stipulations on the care they provide/. IPAs create expanded opportunities for physicians while reducing uncertainty on policies and risks.


IPAs are a boon to healthcare practices, proving to be a valuable asset in the ever-changing medical field. Characteristic benefits of these associations include shared savings, assistance in maximizing federal Medicare incentives, peer physician support, healthcare administration opportunities, access to further medical programs and services, administrative autonomy, and credentialing and contracting with insurance companies, MCOs, ACOs, and assorted health systems.


Consider joining A1 Doctors Association if you are interested in both enhancing and protecting your practice with an IPA! Register here.




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