Beckers Spine Review’s “Ask Spine Surgeons” is a weekly series of questions posed to spine surgeons around the country about clinical, business and policy issues affecting spine care. See Dr. Kube’s response to this weeks question, below! 

Question: What does the future hold for independent physician practices?

Richard Kube, MD. Founder and CEO of Prairie Spine & Pain Institute (Peoria, Ill.):

I believe there will be increasing pressure for independent physicians to become dependent. The market forces created by the large insurers and hospital systems will make it increasingly difficult to remain independent. There are areas, especially if working within the bundled payment and free market medical arena, that independence will be key. Rising healthcare costs are a counter market force where there is opportunity for the smaller, nimble independent group to carve out a niche and thrive.

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