Savard, 36, a graduate of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine, is in the vanguard of physicians who are experimenting with a new family practice business model.With the price of gas these days, I'm not sure I can afford to earn 10% less, as this model suggests.
It's called a micropractice.
Savard has no nurse but shares a receptionist with several other solo practitioners; she does her own paperwork. Mostly, she runs her office electronically, lowering her overhead because she has no salaries to pay.
She keeps patients' files on her laptop and soon will be billing electronically too. She uses software to process insurance claims. One more thing: Savard estimates her income will remain about 10 percent less than if she were in a group practice with a full staff -- and that's fine with her. She makes her own schedule and works four half-days a week for now, although she plans to start working a fifth.
"I'm not being controlled and being told when I'm on call," Savard said.
Savard began establishing her practice last fall and has 200 patients. She had been working as a salaried doctor at a group practice.
How did she come up with this system? She read an article by Gordon Moore, a physician in Rochester, N.Y., and an advocate for micropractices. Moore says micropractices give patients "unfettered access" to doctors at a time when some physicians have overloaded their practices.
"There's nothing new under the sun here," Moore said, calling it "the Norman Rockwell thing ... plus the software."