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Physician groups: IT MACRA requirements jeopardize independence

Dive Brief:

  • Most physicians (67%) who participated in a recentsurvey conducted by Black Book Market Research are concerned the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) will lead to the end of their independence with 72% blaming “under-performing billing technology.”
  • Out of the surveyed independent primary care physicians, 78% believe the solution for saving their practice is to join larger groups or hospital integrated delivery networks though 77% are reportedly having financial struggles after such staffing losses.
  • The report also ranked electronic health records (EHRs) for small practices and projected the EHR replacement market to decline for these practices because 55% of the surveyed practitioners are not planning on purchasing any technology or making any technological shifts.

Dive Insight:

Physicians have been leaving their private practice as the healthcare industry’s shift to value-based care and increased adoption of EHRs due to financial constraints. In fact, a recent report from Accenture shows just one in three doctors will remain independent by year’s end.

The report from Black Book shows 89% of solo practitioners are expecting to reduce Medicare volumes in order to restrict the number of reports they would need to submit to CMS.

Eighteen performance indicators based on client experience and satisfaction were used to rank EHRs. For solo or single physician practices, the top ranked EHRs were Kareo, Modernizing Medicine, drChrono, iPatientCare, athenahealth, CareCloud, and Practice Fusion. For practices with two to five physicians, SRS Soft, ADP AdvancedMD, Practice Fusion, Amazing Charts, and Allscripts ranked top of the list.

The market research company, which surveyed 1,300 physician groups, also stated EHR vendors have increased pricing competition for integrated billing, specialist-driven focuses, mobility, interoperability, among other functions.

Black Book Managing Partner Doug Brown said in a statement, “Physician payment based on 2017 performance isn’t scheduled to kick in until 2019,” adding, “That’s far too long to maintain operations for the most stressed practices to hold on with outmoded technology and scarce billing support.”

By: Ana Mulero on in News