July 31, 2014
The US healthcare market is evolving rapidly. Hospitals and private practices need to address the various challenges and trends in order to survive. They are expected to reinvent their operations and reevaluate their revenue cycle to maximize cash flow. Here are the top seven health care challenges physicians are facing in 2014:
Lack of Time for Patient Care
Providers are finding it difficult to manage time for quality patient care. With an increase in the administrative burden in 2014, physicians are spending less time with the patients and dedicating more time to dealing with issues of running a practice. They are dealing with the government regulations and strict private payer requirements. Rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has resulted in uncertainty of business and patient influx, forcing the physicians to spend less time on providing care.
High Cost of Technology
Huge expenses on information technology are also posing challenges for physicians in 2014. High cost of HIPAA compliance and EHR continue to be a hindrance. According to HealthIT.gov, upfront cost of an average in-office EHR system is $33,000; whereas, the yearly cost is $4,000. Due to lack of time, physicians fail to understand the operational implications. Even after switching to an EHR, there are various updates and expenses to be handled.
Hiring and Training Staff
With the shift to value-based payment models, it has become important to hire support staff who can meet the required criteria. Finding skilled resources has become as difficult as retaining them. According to the industry experts, not just 2014, but difficulties in hiring, training and retaining will intensify in the years to come.
This is one of the major reasons why practices are outsourcing their billing requirements to companies like MedicalBillersandCoders.com. MBC has a strong team of experienced coders and billers who are experts at managing revenue to maximize profits and minimizing the claims denials for practices.
Millions of Americans are expected to get health insurance by the end of 2014 due to the ACA and Medicaid expansion. This influx will bring new challenges for the physicians in terms of care provision and revenue too.
Changes made by Insurance Payers
Many insurance companies are making drastic changes to their work pattern due to the ACA. Physicians are being dropped from their panels, causing patients to look for new doctors and new insurance plans. According to a poll conducted by Medical Economics, dealing with insurance payers is the topmost issue faced by physicians in the US.
Practices will get affected by four major government-sponsored requirements in 2014 such as, preparation for ICD-10, second stage of Meaningful Use incentive program, HIPAA, updated rules for Health Insurance Portability (HIP) and the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS)
Increased Emphasis on Patient Payment Collection
Practices need to step up their patient payment collection strategies in 2014. Majority of the health insurance plans offered by HIE require patients to bear the burden of their healthcare costs. This has augmented the need to improve patient payment collection efforts to get paid on time.