Academic Master

Health Care

Independent Practice Association (IPA)

An Independent Practice Association (IPA) is a group of physicians who come together in the practice in conjunction with a health insurance plan that covers their patients as well as their physical property. The coming together of such physicians is to enable them to attain and achieve certain objectives that they may not be able to achieve single-handedly.

The IPA is more important to the physicians in ensuring compensation in their practice and involvement as well as in instances of accidents. In practice, they are compensated for their service delivery, hence termed “pay-for-service,” while in accidents, it is in the form of cover for losses incurred (Robinson 2001). Moreover, the agency ensures the best deals and contracts on behalf of the physicians, hence ensuring that they gain sufficiently in their service delivery, thereby increasing profitability with little involvement in the negotiation of deals (Robinson 2001).

The IPA agency formulates a contract that covers various areas of interest to physicians, including pay-per-performance, public reporting, and accountability care. The public reporting aspect entails the point of openness, which is honesty in putting out all relevant information and documents for public access, and this ensures trust. Accountability, on the other hand, means having an end-to-end balance of books of account as well as having a point of reference in proving a point of practice or involvement (Robinson 2001).

Most physicians who are tied to an IPA are those who practice in the private sector as well as those in small group practices. Such practicing physicians are not in a position to independently conduct complex practices that involve the use of expensive machines that, through coming together, they can manage to purchase. Such activities as hiring personal nurses to take care of patients are practiced mostly by big hospitals. However, through an IPA, small-group physicians may be able to get funds to enable them to hire more personnel in their practices to increase productivity (Casalino et al., 2013).

In conclusion, some physicians have been identified as not interested in joining large hospitals but feel comfortable working independently with the guidance of an IPA. Thus, it is evident that IPAs are also major in ensuring proper health service delivery independently.


Casalino, L. P., Wu, F. M., Ryan, A. M., Copeland, K., Rittenhouse, D. R., Ramsay, P. P., & Shortell, S. M. (2013). Independent practice associations and physician-hospital organizations can improve care management for smaller practices. Health Affairs, 32(8), 1376-1382.

Robinson, J. C. (2001). Theory and practice in the design of physician payment incentives. The Milbank Quarterly, 79(2), 149-177.



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