Medical Practices Are Getting Bigger: How UnisLink is Thriving


four medical executives looking at large puzzle pieces on a round table

The trend toward consolidating medical groups is continuing, creating unique challenges for the vendor community supporting these groups.

Why the Consolidation Trend Matters

According to Definitive Healthcare, there were almost 340,000 active physician groups as of January 2024. While this initially seems to be a large number, a closer look reveals that the number of smaller practices (under 10 providers) has shrunk by almost 10%, as reported by

Larger practices (over 50 providers) increased from 12.2% to 18.3% in the same timeframe. The data reinforces what we are seeing in the market and in our own communities; we may lose a satisfied client we’ve been servicing for years due to a practice merger or acquisition

What Are the Drivers of Consolidation?

We need to understand the key drivers behind client consolidation to effectively respond, add value, and remain trusted partners for our clients. The 10 most critical factors fueling this shift include:

  1. Financial pressures
  2. Growing administrative burdens
  3. Resource challenges
  4. Selective payer networks
  5. Gaining negotiating leverage
  6. Increasing complexity of reporting
  7. Changing the payment landscape with VBC and related incentive models
  8. Data privacy challenges amidst the increasing threat of breaches
  9. Greater scrutiny regarding compliance and coding matters
  10. The emergence of newer digital technologies and tools

How UnisLink is Prepared to Address These Challenges

These consolidation drivers also impact RCM companies. To remain successful, vendors need to be prepared to address these key questions:

  1. How do RCM billing companies compete with in-house operations?
  2. Can you match the pricing pressure from larger groups?
  3. Can you support the complex and more sophisticated supporting needs of larger practices – e.g., integrated reports from various PM platforms?
  4. In addition to traditional fee-for-service billing, how can you support value-based care needs and related incentive programs?
  5. How can you adapt to different accounting standards, considering small groups often use cash accounting while larger groups require accrual-based reporting under GAAP standards?
  6. Can you scale production capabilities as the practice groups grow and shrink with M&A activity?
  7. Are you prepared to address different auditing requirements (both financial and operational)?

As the RCM vendor landscape evolves, a company’s ability to adapt to medical practice consolidation challenges will determine what side of mergers and acquisitions they land on.

Navigating and Adapting to Consolidation

UnisLink saw the consolidation wave coming. Since 2014, we have proactively expanded our capabilities and invested heavily in software development and operational streamlining. This foresight has allowed us not only to maintain trusted partnerships with our clients but also to remain the vendor of choice even after large-scale acquisitions. Here are some of the initiatives that helped drive this success.

  • UnisLink Engage: A cloud-based platform for interactive reporting across EHR/PM platforms.
  • UnisLink iCMS: Our cloud-based, interactive platform is designed to improve value-based reimbursement/contract (VBR/VBC) programs. Designed to work with virtually all EHR systems, offering providers a streamlined tool to easily identify gaps in care, manage network leakage, and compare payer reports with internal data.
  • ONC-certified registry service: Allows us to track and report MIPS/quality measure scores.
  • Data integration expertise: In-house expertise that allows us to aggregate data from various platforms, ensuring a smooth transition when our clients acquire new groups with different systems.
  • Digital tools library: UnisLink has evolved our toolkit to include robust RPA, machine learning, and AI for greater operational efficiencies.
  • Global operations: Our wholly-owned India-based division allows us to operate a seamless, global team, enabling us to provide competitive pricing to our clients while protecting our business margins.
  • Scalability and performance: We’ve strategically scaled our operations to handle the demands of even the largest medical practices. Our infrastructure allows us to deliver performance that consistently surpasses what in-house RCM teams can achieve.

UnisLink: Your Trusted Partner Through Consolidation

Our commitment to investing in innovative solutions allows us to continue being a reliable partner for our clients’ changing needs.

The trend in medical practice consolidation does not mean that smaller RCM practices must navigate the challenges alone – that’s why UnisLink offers a unique opportunity to join forces, allowing you to expand your offerings, and ensuring a smooth transition for your clients.

Watch this space! UnisLink will be adding more blogs on this topic, diving deeper into the top 10 drivers of consolidation.

Contact UnisLink today to discuss how we can help your practice thrive in the era of consolidation.