July 22, 2014
Increased administrative hassles and reduced potential for income are two main reasons behind the shortage of Primary Care Physicians (PCP) in the US. Billing and revenue related challenges have been causing great dissatisfaction among the primary care doctors. This has also led to a steady decline in the number of medical students willing to pursue a career in primary care.
Around 52,000 more PCPS will be required in the United States by 2025
Total number of office visits to primary care doctors will increase to 565 million in 2025
By 2025, the population in US will increase by an estimated 15.2%. There will be a 60% increase in the older-than-65 age group
Challenges Faced by Primary Care Doctors
PCPs are paid less than surgeons and other specialists. Care provided by them is not appropriately recognized by payment polices and this affects their compensation
Due to low income, physicians have no option but to keep the costs down
They are forced to attend a large number of patients on a daily basis to ensure that the overhead is met and income is garnered
Being part of a non-sustainable business model, physicians have to accept unpleasant burdens from insurers and spend hours co-ordinating the details on phone, which they don’t get paid for
According to the American Medical Association, increasing number of visits from the elderly patients is also posing a challenge for the PCPs. It has increased the average duration for a visit
PCPs also have to balance preventive care and acute care along with expanding choices in drug therapy
Due to low payment, physicians haven’t been able to invest in Health IT or other measures that can help increase productivity and decrease practice expenses
Primary care physicians face various other challenges related to effective implementation of EHR, hassle-free integration of Health IT into the practice, and meeting the requirements for Meaningful Use standards.
How is Outsourcing Benefitting Primary Care Practices?
Outsourcing has helped primary care physicians strengthen their revenue cycle. It has helped them sail through reimbursement challenges without having to merge or close down their practice. Billing companies like MedicalBillersandCoders.com has been helping PCPs across all the 50 states in the US, streamline processes like billing, coding, denial management, RCM and EMR / EHR implementation.
MBC's primary care billing services has a team of certified and experienced billers and coders who are well-trained in handling challenges faced by the primary care practices. They have the skills required for maximizing the revenue and minimizing claims denials.
By hiring a billing partner, PCPs have been receiving timely payments from the insurance companies. Since an expert billing team handles the revenue cycle, providers get sufficient time to concentrate on provision of quality care. They are able to focus on clinical tasks rather than worrying about getting paid on time.
Measures for Handling PCP Shortage
To overcome the shortage of PCPs, many medical schools are offering community-based primary care training programs. Several new medical schools have opened up and they are training only primary care doctors. They are also being offered financial incentives to get into primary care.
Outsource Medical Billing