Most private practice managers and physicians find reimbursement to be the biggest issue impacting their practice, according to a study conducted by White Space Healthcare. The population of the study included hundreds of physicians and practice managers representing several specialties from around the globe. Several one-on-one interviews were also conducted with leading healthcare experts, consultants and economists.
The top four pressures impacting private practices, according to the study are:
- Reimbursement — 54 percent ranked this as the biggest issue
- Patient referrals — 40 percent ranked this as the second-biggest issue
- Competition — 57 percent ranked this as the third-biggest issue
- Patient retention — 58 percent ranked this as the least critical issue
As I read through several articles about failing medical practices, it became clear that private practices will find it ever harder to maintain profitability while competing against hospitals and healthcare organizations unless they find better ways to leverage their operations and bring better value to the table. While looking at this lets ponder who will be setting at the table to evaluate? Is it insurance companies? Hospitals? The Government?
In looking at this phenomenon, we have to ask the question of how the smaller physician groups will thrive. Will they be able to survive the pressure from these larger organizations? If private practice is the root of healthcare, where are we today? Since the Affordable Care Act has been recognized as constitutional, the role of private practice is more complicated as we try to figure out where the independent physician’s role lies (?). With ACO’s on the rise it seems as if we are moving toward socialized medicine. This will alarmingly threaten the continuation of the private practice physician.