Medical groups that boosted healthcare revenue were more likely to have a value-based purchasing plan and adopt new health IT systems, a survey found.

High-performing medical groups had value-based purchasing transition plans and more new health IT implementation, a survey showed.

Source: Thinkstock

 By Jacqueline Belliveau

 – About 56 percent of medical groups that were financially high-performing have a plan for a value-based purchasing transition versus just 32 percent of medical groups falling behind with healthcare revenue cycle management, a recent CareCloud and UMB Medica survey showed.

The survey of 2,020 physicians and practice administrators also revealed that high-performing medical groups were twice as likely to implement new health IT systems than their falling behind peers.

Through value-based reimbursement and health IT adoption, the practices improved their healthcare revenue cycle in the last three years by increasing practice collections, the number of practice locations, the number of providers, total patient volume, and provider satisfaction.

“With the market quickly becoming more value-based and consumer-driven, we’re seeing the emergence of new technologies that enable custom workflows and new patient offerings that didn’t exist just a few years before,” stated Ken Comée, CareCloud CEO. “What this survey shows is that those medical group executives who act on these opportunities are seeing higher operational and financial performance than those who maintain the status quo.”

The survey uncovered the following value-based reimbursement trends that helped medical groups financially succeed over the past three years:

• 32 percent of high-performing groups already implemented their value-based reimbursement plan compared to just 21 percent of low-performing groups

• Low-performing medical groups were twice as likely to have no value-based reimbursement plan than their financially successful counterparts because they expect healthcare reform to change under the new administration

• 53 percent of high-performing medical groups anticipate earning full or partial value-based incentive payments under MACRA this year versus 35 percent of low-performing groups

In addition to value-based reimbursement plans, medical groups that improved their healthcare revenue cycle management practices were more open to implementing advanced health IT solutions.

Sixty percent of high-performing respondents perceived health IT implementation as a way to improve care quality. Just 42 percent of low-performing medical groups viewed new health IT in the same way.

Researchers added that practices that did not experience significant healthcare revenue cycle improvements had vastly different attitudes toward health IT adoption. About 18 percent of these respondents refused to select a positive view on health IT, such as new technologies advance care quality, efficiency and productivity, and patient experience.

Instead, some respondents stated that health IT innovations “have destroyed medicine as it is.” Another common view was that the government forced low-performing medical groups to adopt health IT against their wishes.

As a result, the survey showed the following health IT adoption discrepancies among high- and low-performing medical groups:

• One-quarter of low-performing medical groups expressed no interest in purchasing a patient portal versus 3 percent of high-performing groups

• 57 percent of financially substandard practices did not want to try advanced analytics for population health management compared to 26 percent of the high-performing practices

• 48 percent of low-performing participants and 32 percent of high-performing participants expressed no desire to invest in iPad-based intake forms

Despite significant differences, researchers found that survey respondents agreed to wait on implementing concierge medicine and wearable integration. Nearly 70 percent of participants said their medical group had no interest in pursuing these health IT initiatives.

Low-performing medical groups may want to consider adopting health IT innovations to boost provider satisfaction. Providers in high-performing medical groups that had implemented novel technologies reported higher rates of productivity and job satisfaction.

About 74 percent of providers working in practices that were in a better financial position stated that productivity improved. Most providers in medical groups lacking financial improvement (45 percent) reported decreases in provider productivity.

Sixty-nine percent of providers at high-performing medical groups also reported overall job satisfaction, whereas only 7 percent at low-peering practices said the same.

“The healthcare landscape has gone through tremendous change, but medical practices should only expect this to continue and in many cases intensify over the coming years,” the survey stated. “What used to work in the past is necessary but no longer enough — adapting and embracing this new medical economy is the only way to guarantee success and thrive in the years ahead.”

Published in RevCycleIntelligence.

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