The Reasons Physicians Wouldn’t Expect to Be Thankful for This Thanksgiving

Reading healthcare industry news can get depressing. It always seems to be about government regulations that will hurt practice profitability or technology trends that are destined to complicate the treatment process. But not all new developments are bad.

There are actually a few things besides the creation of pumpkin pie physicians should be thankful for this Turkey Day.

HIPAA Omnibus’s Stance on Business Associates

A complex new rule with the potential to levy penalties as high as $50,000 may not seem like a reason to rejoice, but at least one aspect of the new HIPAA Omnibus Rule is positive for physicians.

Omnibus now makes business associates (BA) – any person or entity that performs functions and activities on behalf of a covered entity – directly responsible for the security of patients’ personal health information. Meaning your practice won’t’ incur any financial penalties due to security breaches caused by a BA’s irresponsibility.

Big Data’s Ascendance

An often-overlooked consequence of increased EHR adoption is the large amount of data that has emerged as a byproduct. Research suggests the mass aggregation of patient data may hold the key to improving the quality of care.

By providing access to large volumes of community-specific health information, data is currently being categorized by geographic location to help physicians make improved care decisions. Big data will not only allow you to make more accurate diagnoses but faster ones as well.

ACA Patient Influx

If the government can ever get working, there is expected to be an influx of 32 million patients as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Although studies indicate that 48% of physicians don’t have the resources necessary to take on any additional patients, those who can benefit greatly.

The increase in revenue associated with an expanded patient base should make up for the profit-draining effects of declining reimbursement rates. There are a few strategies you can undertake now to prepare you for more patients tomorrow.

Salary Growth

According to the 2013 Physician Compensation Survey, the median physician salary will increase by 2.4% in 2014. Doctors working in group-based practices are projected to do even better, with a 3.7% projected increase. And primary care physicians are expected to see a slightly larger bump than specialists.

More money. Hooray!

Friends and Family

Physicians live a stressful existence, from medical school all the way up to retirement. It’s likely you’ve had to lean on your friends and family at least a couple of times during your career. So, during this season of gratitude, don’t forget to thank them for their support.

Hopefully, you’ll receive some thanks in return for helping keep our communities healthy. We at Power Your Practice appreciate everything you do.

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone. Enjoy the tryptophan-induced food coma.

And if you’re feeling thankful for Power Your Practice, sign up for our email list below.

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