With a constantly changing landscape in the healthcare industry, many providers are looking for a different way to practice. They have grown tired of having to provide care and run a small business, as it changes the patient-provider dynamic.
As a result, in the last few years, some providers have decided to leave the private practice setting in search of a different practice model. These providers are opting for employment in clinics or health centers in their quest to practice the way they desire, with a focus on patient care plans, not business plans. So, what are the employment options for providers considering a change to a more patient-focused environment?
A Practice Model That Puts the Focus Back on the Patient: Federally Qualified Health Centers
What is a FQHC?
A Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) is a primary care health clinic that provides healthcare services to underserved communities. These clinics receive federal funds to operate in communities with the goal of providing quality care without concern for a patient’s ability to pay.
For nearly 26 million patients, these healthcare centers are an essential lifeline which allows them to receive medical care, vision services, mental health, substance abuse treatment, and oral healthcare within their communities.
The Benefits of Working in a FQHC as a Medical Provider
Improved Quality of Life: Achieving Work-Life Balance
When a provider works in a small private practice, the stress of running a small business can become overwhelming. This can be exacerbated by the lack of paid time off and inability to keep set hours. However, for providers employed by a FQHC, there is generous PTO, paid holidays, and normal hours. This allows providers to have a better work-life balance preventing provider burnout.
Lessening the Financial Burden of Practicing Medicine
Running a medical practice can be expensive, with administrative overhead and malpractice insurance. If a provider is employed by a FQHC, their malpractice insurance is covered through the TORT Claims Act, including tail coverage, thus avoiding the often crushing expense of malpractice coverage. Furthermore, FQHCs can offer financial stability to providers with guaranteed compensation plans.
Ability to Expand Skills as a Result of Diverse Patient Needs
Patients who seek treatment at FQHCs have often gone months or even years without proper care. Many of the patients that FQHCs care for suffer from multiple chronic conditions that have been made worse by a lack of access to quality care. Thus, when these untreated patients are seen by providers at FQHCs they require acute care which allows providers to become actively engaged in their patients’ health conditions. Because of this, providers can get hands-on experience with patients who require acute care, which can significantly grow a provider’s skills and knowledge base.
A Mission-Driven Environment That Reaches the Underserved
Working at a FQHC allows providers to establish strong relationships with the communities they serve. Being able to provide care to underserved patients, most of whom earn incomes below the federal poverty line, gives providers the ability to make a difference in their patients’ lives directly. Also, providers who work in FQHCs become part of a provider team that is driven by a mission of service to the community they support.
Making a Difference
Working at a FQHC can be a very rewarding career path for a provider. The ability to practice patient-centered medicine without the worry of running a business can be very freeing for providers burned out from the private practice model. Not only is the business aspect removed from the equation, but providers at FQHCs can get to know their communities and serve some of the most in-need patients in the healthcare system.
If you are a provider looking to make a change in the direction of your career and considering a different way of practicing, contact the experts at UHC Solutions. At UHC Solutions, we recruit providers for FQHCs around the country. Contact our FQHC recruiters today to get started practicing medicine the way it was meant to be; patient focused.