ADP® AdvancedMD used the MGMA conference as a platform to release the results of a study on the financial health of physician practices, completed with Sermo, an online community of over 125,000 physicians. The study surveyed 300 physicians in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and pediatrics specialties during August 2012. The results indicate that 74 percent of doctors do not feel that they have control over the financial aspects of their businesses, signaling a need for stronger tracking and goal setting. The study also sought to uncover what these physician practices use as measures of financial and practice performance, what technologies they have adopted, and a ranking of their specific attitudes and concerns about the business side of their practices.
Only 26 percent of physicians agree or strongly agree that they have control over their finances Only 50 percent of physicians say they evaluate their financial performance and compare it with similar practices More than half across all specialties see their patient count increasing, likely due to an estimated additional 30 million patients seeking care in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act
“These findings validate what we’ve seen in the marketplace over the past few years — in particular, physicians are finding managing the finances of their practices increasingly challenging,” said Raul Villar, president, ADP AdvancedMD. “For a sector that is experiencing significant growth and regulatory changes, it’s obvious that there is room for improvement. Technology has come a long way in providing physicians with more freedom and flexibility to balance their busy lives, as well as providing tools for improving the patient experience and financial health of their practices. Cloud practice software offering state-of-the-art revenue collection capabilities, accessible from anywhere, can play a significant role in helping to improve finances and saving private practices.”
Technology use findings from the study indicated that only 1 out of 3 physicians are using cloud practice management (PM) and EHR and that only 56 percent say their EHR is integrated with their PM system — a key to more effective claims processing and practice efficiency.
Despite the differences in their patient populations, more than half of physicians from all specialties agreed that they were deeply concerned about the potential impact of Medicare payment reductions — with about three-quarters of family medicine and internal medicine citing concern. More than half were also concerned about the impact of ICD-10 on their ability to get fair pay for services provided.