January 12, 2016 | Becker’s Hospital Review
Written by Max Green.
An interactive online survey of more than 5,000 physicians across a variety of practice sizes and specialties revealed the profitability outlooks of most U.S. physicians are leveling out, rather than trending down, among other findings.
Here are five takeaways from CareCloud’s third annual Practice Profitability Index report.
- Outlooks are generally improving. Neutral outlooks now outweigh negative outlooks, with 35 percent of physician respondents saying their profitability expectations are staying the same. Positive outlooks rose from 19 percent to 24 percent from the previous year.
- Fewer physicians are looking to sell their practices, with 59 percent of respondents reporting they had no plans to sell or merge. This is a rise from 53 percent in 2014, although 23 percent said they are either actively looking to sell or considering it.
- Billing and collections are No. 1 on physicians’ minds, according to 40 percent of respondents. This was followed by staffing at 34 percent and technology at 33 percent. Only two of five physicians reported believing that their current staff, technology and processes are effective at securing payments.
- Physicians continue to opt for major technology overhauls. Nearly 20 percent of respondents said they plan to replace their EHR or practice management software in the coming year. Top reasons for doing so are that the current tech doesn’t integrate with other solutions, is hard to use, isn’t ready for ICD-10 or meaningful use, and is not cost effective.
- Physicians are becoming more enthusiastic about patient engagement tools. Respondents identified their top five positive developments on the horizon as patient engagement programs, new alliances with other healthcare professionals, mobile technologies, tools for population health management and fee-for-value/quality contract participation.