Independent Practice Association Physician Groups in California
We surveyed independent practice association (IPA) physician groups in California about their approaches to staffing, physician payment, and governance. Most IPAs desired more primary care physicians but not more specialists. Capitation was the major mode of remuneration for primary care physicians in 77 percent of IPAs, and for specialists in 30 percent of IPAs. Most IPAs also used financial incentives related to use of referral or ancillary services. Boards of directors were dominated by physicians, but governance tended to be centralized rather than highly democratic. We found that IPAs mirror many of the broader trends in physician staffing and physician payment that exist in managed care organizations.