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Rising Health IT Demands - How is your Practice Coping?

October 28, 2014

Health IT implementation has had a positive impact on numerous medical practices. It has not only benefitted patients but also helped physicians to reduce errors, paperwork and enhance the quality of care. But, at the same time rising health IT demands, lack of interoperability, IT support and vendor accountability have forced many physicians to seek early retirement or sell their practice for employment in a hospital.

Industry Facts :

According to the Cost Survey Report of 2013 by Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), there has been an increase of 27.8% in technology costs between 2008 and 2012
As per government estimations, the US healthcare system might need 50,000 more employees for implementing and sustaining HIT in the coming years

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act has spurred the health IT movement on a national level in the US. But deployment for health IT has also increased the resource and finance requirements for physician practices. Absorbing the expenditure associated with implementation of infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges faced by doctors there. Since many practices don’t have the budget for accommodating IT expenses, the implementation becomes challenging.

Many physicians are finding it difficult to cope up with the rapid IT changes. Too many initiatives are being introduced too fast. Rapidly evolving systems and technologies have become a burden as many practices don’t have the qualified staff to implement and support the changes. All this has affected the productivity and clinical workflow for physicians.

The back office responsibilities have increased for physicians and they are seen spending more time on billing and IT server issues rather than patient care. Since technology deployment seems to dominate care provision, many doctors are selling their practices or preferring to get a job in hospitals. Many doctors have taken early retirement as they don’t want to handle the burden of back office tasks.

What Physicians Need to Do?

In order to address the rising IT demands in a successful manner, practices will have to make careful selection of technology. A budget needs to be planned and trained staff should be hired and trained for using the latest IT systems.

  • Physicians should stop relying on their EHR vendor for software upgrades if they don’t want to fall behind their implementation efforts
  • It’ll help to hire an IT expert for enabling the practice make sound decisions related to health IT implementation
  • It is also necessary to ensure that the practice doesn’t choose a non-reliable EHR software vendor because if the health record system doesn’t work, it will lead to major loss of time and money
  • A balance should be created between patient care and technology implementation so that IT implementation doesn’t hamper day-to-day business operations

To sail through challenges related to health IT and revenue, many practices have started outsourcing their requirements to MedicalBillersandCoders.com. MBC’s expert team of coders and billers has been helping more than 40 medical specialties meet HIT requirements all over the US. The team also offers various value added services such as billing, coding, denial management and consultancy.


Category : EMR / EHR / Health IT