Become a Member

Become a Member

Image: Learn more about the benefits of membership in the Independent Physicians Network.

What Does IPN Do?

  1. Limit Physician Risk – IPN enters into risk based agreements; however, it does not pass the downside risk on to its provider.
  2. Obtain contracts and fees – as a clinically integrated network, all IPN providers are included in each IPN managed care agreement.
  3. Performs financial analysis and medical management services to assure fiscal soundness and improve quality performance – through its value based agreements, IPN is often delegated these services which are a critical part in insuring IPN and its providers successfully meet the quality and cost thresholds associated with those agreements.
  4. Provide various administrative and clinical functions for contracted health plans – providing these services and receiving administrative payments from the plans for providing them contributes to IPN’s revenue and allows IPN to exist without charging its members a joining fee or annual dues.
  5. Provide many value added services for its members – IPN works with a variety of partners to implement purchasing programs which lower administrative overhead for IPN providers.
  6. Provide support and education for IPN provider’s office staff – IPN works with each provider and their staff to insure they understand the requirements of each payer agreement. IPN also acts as a liaison between each contracted plan and the provider offices to keep providers updated on plan changes and to assist providers with any issues they may encounter with a plan.

Keys to IPN Success

  1. Engaged physicians – IPN’s success is due to its dedicated physicians. Member physicians are actively involved in overseeing IPN’s operations and activities through their regular participation on the IPN Board and committees.
  2. Clinically and Economically Integrated – IPN’s contracts are value based contracts which are designed for IPN to partner with its contracted payers to manage a population of patients to improve patient outcomes, improve the quality of care and lower overall costs of care.
  3. Support Structure for Independent Practices – IPN’s contracts, processes and programs are designed to assist physician practices compliance with health plan requirements, improve physician office administrative efficiency and improve overall quality of care for contracted health plan members. Exceling in each of these areas is critical for independent providers to remain independent.
  4. Strong Partnerships with contracted Health Plans – by design, value based contracts drive stronger partnerships between health plans and their contracted providers. Plans are incented to share information and work collaborative with providers under these types of programs.
  5. Strong Medical Management and Quality Programs – Care coordination and quality are critical functions within IPN. IPN’s strong clinical team, made up of Medical Directors, Nurses, Social Workers and Administrative team members, operationalize these functions and are critical to IPN’s long-term success in its value-based agreements.

Benefits

Established in 1984, Independent Physicians Network, Inc. was developed as a not-for-profit organization by a group of 200 physicians, mostly pediatricians, in response to Wisconsin’s changes to the Medicaid managed care program. Over time, the focus of IPN broadened to include commercial managed care, adult primary care providers, and a full complement of specialists were added. With more than 600 member physicians and more than 500 contracted providers covering all specialties and providing services to commercial, Medicaid, and Medicare members for several managed plans, IPN utilizes all area hospitals and many free-standing centers. Apply for membership in IPN to join and receive the benefits of belonging to a like-minded group of physicians.

IPN’s mission is to develop, protect, and enhance the capabilities of member physicians to maintain a quality practice. Over the past thirty-five years, IPN has successfully demonstrated this mission through services that support independent physicians who provide high-quality health care at an effective cost for their patients. This mission has become a reality by focusing on three strategies.

  • Educating and Supporting IPN Member Physicians
    IPN provides many services and resources to member physicians to assure better management of their patients. To ensure each new member physician understands and upholds its high expectations, all member physicians undergo an orientation process when they first join IPN. This support continues throughout the relationship at our members request and through communications provided by IPN along with regular meetings with the IPN Medical Directors and staff.
  • Working Closely with IPN Managed Care Plan Partners 
    In order to help its providers improve patient management and care, IPN works with its various health plan partners to exchange critical claim data and clinical information between the health plans and its providers. This information is utilized to identify high-risk patients and clinical trends and patterns.
  • Improving Quality and Lowering Costs
    IPN takes many actions to improve the overall health of our patients and lower healthcare costs for the benefit of patients and independent practices. By working with its physicians and implementing patient outreach programs, IPN helps by identifying and providing outreach to non-compliant and high risk patients which help increase compliance with preventive services and treatment of chronic diseases.

Shared Resources

Through an association with IPN, member physicians and their patients will experience benefits unavailable through many other Independent Physician Associations. There is no fee to join or be accredited through IPN. With higher credentialing standards than NCQA, member physicians can be confident in the credentialing services offered through IPN. To assure consistent quality care is being provided, IPN’s member physician review process is ongoing.

IPN member physicians are a part of a network of reliable independent physicians and organizations that make following your patients throughout their treatment accessible. Within this network, you and your patients will have access to:

  • Over 600 referring member physicians covering all adult and many pediatric specialties
  • Over 500 contracted providers including podiatrists, chiropractors, oral surgeons, optometrists, therapists, nurses and physician assistants
  • Many freestanding outpatient centers that provide outpatient surgery, wound care, hyperbaric medicine, interventional radiology, imaging, lab services and physical, occupational and speech therapy.
  • Also, when inpatient services are needed, IPN physicians also have access to all hospitals in southeastern Wisconsin.

This arrangement allows IPN member physicians to monitor their patients through the entire course of their treatment which improves the overall quality of healthcare their patients receive. Through preventive services and quality, cost-effective medical care, IPN affords its member physicians the ability to monitor every aspect of their patients’ care.

Better Patient Care

Better physicians provide better patient care, and IPN allows physicians to be their best and to focus on providing exemplary patient care. While the consolidation of the health care industry has isolated independent practitioners, IPN unifies independent physicians and promotes them individually through a supportive network that enables each practitioner to improve the overall quality of care their patients receive.

As there aren’t enough hours in the day to practice medicine and monitor the everchanging rules involved with being an independent physician, IPN offers support for administrative services that allow physicians to focus on what they do best: practice medicine.

Through its continued support of independent physicians, IPN allows independent physicians to remain independent physicians!

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