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National Survey of 5,000 Physicians Finds Declining Practice Profitability in the Year Ahead; Administrative Burdens Sharply Increasing
|By Business Wire
|May 7, 2014 09:11 AM EDT
The past year has been a turbulent one for U.S. physicians, according to
the 2014 Practice
Profitability Index (PPI).
The PPI was conceived in 2013 as part of a partnership between leading
cloud-based health technology provider, CareCloud,
and Quantia, Inc., a leader in physician engagement and alignment. The
research is intended to serve as an annual barometer for the operational
wellbeing of U.S. medical groups in the year ahead. 5,064 physicians
contributed their insights to the second annual PPI during March of
2014. To download the entire 2014 PPI, visit: http://www.carecloud.com/practice-profitability-index-2014/
Physicians Have a Darkening Outlook on Their Practices’
The key finding of the PPI
survey was that U.S. physicians are now more than twice as likely to
foresee eroding, not increasing, profits in 2014. Those with a negative
outlook increased from 36% to 39% during the past year,
while optimists declined from 22% to 19%. The issues
weighing on finances are still led by declining reimbursements (60%);
rising costs (50%); requirements from the Affordable Care Act (49%);
and the transition to ICD-10 (43%).
Operational Challenges Impact Patient Care
“The 2014 PPI results show that physicians are experiencing increasing
strain on their practice operations as a result of healthcare reform and
government mandates. This strain, in turn, affects patients – including
the millions of new ones entering the system as a result of the
Affordable Care Act,” said Albert Santalo, Chairman and CEO of
CareCloud. “Nearly half of physicians say they cannot take on these
patients, foreshadowing an access to care issue. Meanwhile, despite the
hype about emerging reimbursement models, physicians are most likely to
seek improvements through programs that help them engage with their
sickest and most vulnerable patients.”
The complete 2014 PPI survey results, which also explore physicians’
opinions on technology adoption; time spent on administration rather
than patient care; impact of healthcare reform; intent to stay
independent or sell their practice; and strategies for improving
operational performance, can be accessed at www.carecloud.com/PPI
Additional key findings from the 2014 PPI included:
Regulation Buries Physicians in Increasing Administrative Work,
Successful patient engagement requires that physicians have adequate
time and space to focus on care. But the percentage of doctors spending
more than one day a week on paperwork rose sharply between 2013 and
2014, from 58% to 70%. Nearly one-quarter (23%)
spend more than 40% of their time on administration, up from 15%
Physicians’ ability to make adequate time for patients will become
increasingly critical. The PPI found 40% of physicians indicated
patient engagement programs, such as disease management and population
health efforts aimed at high-risk patients, hold the greatest promise
for their practice performance in 2014.
Interestingly, just 11% of physicians cited participation in
fee-for-value or Accountable Care Organization contracts – which reward
them for health outcomes – as contributing to their operational
performance in 2014.
ICD-10 Delay Will Defer Revenue Disruptions, But Preparation Costs
At the end of March 2014, the government approved a minimum one-year
delay to the ICD-10 code transition, which was originally scheduled for
October 1, 2014. The move provides some runway to the majority of
physicians who were unprepared. Before the delay, nearly half of
physicians (44%) did not know whether they would be ready.
Another 25% were certain they would not be prepared and faced
high transition and upgrade costs.
“The move by the government to push back the transition to ICD-10 has
caused significant frustration among medical groups that had already
begun preparations to meet the October deadline,” continues Santalo.
“But while physicians will now avoid ICD-10 related disruptions to
billing and collections in 2014, their preparation costs remain. They’re
increasingly buckling down to focus on those processes and technologies
that can support them for the long term.”
About The Practice Profitability Index (PPI)
Now in its second year, the PPI
was created in to provide a voice to physician practices across the US
regarding issues that impact their financial and operational health. It
reflects the belief that better health outcomes for Americans are more
likely to be achieved when practices themselves are thriving and
The PPI was conceived as part of a partnership between leading
cloud-based health technology provider, CareCloud, and Quantia, Inc.,a
leader in physician engagement and alignment serving more than 200,000
physicians through its online physician community
It involved gathering insights via an interactive online questionnaire
and related discussion groups. The result is intended to serve as an
annual barometer for the operational wellbeing of US medical groups in
the year ahead.
5,064 physicians contributed their insights to the PPI during March of
2014 – making it one of the largest efforts of its kind in the
CareCloud is the leading provider of cloud-based practice management,
electronic health record (EHR), and medical billing software and
services for medical groups. The company’s products are connecting
providers to one another – and to their patients – through a fully
integrated digital healthcare ecosystem that can be accessed on any
browser or device.
CareCloud is helping thousands of physicians to increase collections,
streamline operations and improve patient care in over 48 states, and
currently manages over $3 billion in annualized accounts receivables on
behalf of its revenue cycle management clients. To learn more about
CareCloud, please visit www.carecloud.com.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20140507005911/en/
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