Kudos to The Independent Physician Association of America (TIPAAA) as they celebrated their 20th anniversary in muggy San Antonio, Texas on the first day of Spring. I had the privilege of kicking off the second day of the meeting and the title of my talk was “The Coming Industrialization in Healthcare: A 360-degree View.” Recognizing that the audience was largely composed of the leaders of Independent/Integrated Physician Association (IPA) type practices from around the country, I described how we might align physician behavior through evidence-based practice, closure of the feedback loop, and a commitment to reducing clinical waste. This was not easy, as the IPA leaders are, for the most part, not clinicians. However, my messages about improving communication, crew resource management, and most importantly, providing their emerging physician leaders with resources such as formal training in leadership and population health, seemed to resonate.
TIPAAA is uniquely situated because a large number of freestanding IPAs can have a great impact on clinically integrated delivery systems and Accountable Care Organizations. Most physician members of TIPAAA are those who still remain in private practice and represent the early struggle of how to make the transformation from volume to value. These largely private practice physicians will be the first to experience what it’s like on the front lines as we change from a procedure based world, to a world based on improving the health of the population. In my view, TIPAAA can play a leadership role in furthering this transformation by providing training on population health to emerging leaders. It is fool-hearted to assume that the current leadership cohort is adequately prepared to tackle this transformation.