MIAMI, Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- CareCloud, a leading provider of modern, cloud-based software and services for medical groups, today announced the results of its annual Practice Profitability Index (PPI), one of the largest national efforts to study the operational health and profitability outlooks of U.S. medical practices. Leading the findings in the 2015 study is a mild upswing in projections for profitability among the more than 5,000 physicians surveyed.
While physicians expecting a downward profitability trend in the coming year still outnumber those with positive perspectives—31% versus 24%—the positive group grew year over year. What's more, downward projections no longer dominate; the flat forecast group was the largest in this year's PPI (35%). Despite the shift, challenges to practice profitability have not subsided. The index shows that physicians continue to grapple with declining reimbursement, rising costs, and regulatory changes. However, they're actively investing in new ways to shore up practice operations and boost profitability, with technology playing a key role.
"Perhaps the single most important insight from the 2015 PPI is that—despite the constant change in the industry and ongoing pressure on profitability—physicians remain resilient and proactive about improving practice performance," said Ken Comee, CEO of CareCloud.
Now in its third year, the PPI was conceived as part of a partnership between CareCloud and QuantiaMD, an award-winning web and mobile community for physicians, to serve as a barometer of the current state of physician practices and provide insight into physician outlooks for the year ahead.
Additional key findings from the 2015 PPI include:
Physician Owners Largely Staying Put, Despite Administrative Loads
Physicians' ownership plans reflect the mild uptick in profitability sentiments. 59% of physician owners said they were not looking to sell or merge. Last year, when asked about selling, a lower share said they were not looking to do so (53%). However, the pressure has become too much for a substantial share: almost one-quarter are looking to sell/merge or considering it, citing excessive administrative work as the top reason. Administrative tasks continue to burden physicians across the board: more than 60% spend a day a week or more on them.
ICD-10 Seen as Major Challenge to Profitability
While declining reimbursement (62%) and rising costs (55%) remain the top threats to practice profitability, regulatory shifts are close behind. Physicians completed the survey in July and August 2015, with the October 1, 2015 ICD-10 deadline looming on the horizon so, unsurprisingly, ICD-10 took the number three spot (52%) in place of the Affordable Care Act.
Billing, Staffing, and Technology Are Key Targets for Improvement
Less than half of respondents rated their current staff, technology, and processes as "effective" or "very effective" at securing quick and proper payment for patient care. Fittingly, when asked about targets for driving operational improvement in their practices, billing and collections processes, staffing, and technology topped physicians' lists.
"Rip and Replace" Trend Continues
The PPI revealed that the "rip and replace" trend around core IT systems is still going strong. Almost 20% of physicians plan to replace their practice management (PM) and/or electronic health records (EHR) systems in the coming year. Why? Current systems don't integrate with other technologies (39%), are hard/slow to use (37%), and/or are not cost-effective (33%).
Further revealing their dedication to driving the operational and financial health of their practices, physicians conveyed a growing interest in modern IT solutions, such as mobile technologies and robust analytics. Such solutions can help physicians gain greater control not only of their practice's performance, but also of their personal schedules and productivity. "Whether it's reevaluating operational processes, upgrading technologies, or exploring new ways to engage with patients, the PPI shows that physicians are not sitting idly by as industry pressures persist," adds Comee. "They're strengthening the foundations of their practices, so they can stay focused on what they set out to do—care for patients."
Access the full 2015 PPI report here: www.carecloud.com/ppi.
About The Practice Profitability Index (PPI)
The PPI provides an annual window into the issues affecting the financial and operational health of physician practices across the United States. It serves as a barometer of the current state of physician practices—spanning a wide range of practice sizes and specialties—and provides insight into physician outlooks on the year ahead.
- The PPI originated in 2013 out of a partnership between CareCloud, a leading provider of cloud-based revenue cycle management, practice management, and electronic health record solutions, and QuantiaMD, an award-winning web and mobile community for physicians. QuantiaMD is a wholly owned subsidiary of Physicians Interactive.
- 5,024 physicians participated in the third annual PPI survey during July and August of 2015, making it one of the largest efforts of its kind in the industry.
- Participants provided their insights via an interactive online survey.
CareCloud is the leading provider of cloud-based revenue cycle management, practice management, electronic health record (EHR), and patient engagement solutions for medical groups. Through its modern, intuitive, and integrated platform, CareCloud is enabling healthcare organizations to achieve operational excellence while enhancing the patient experience. CareCloud complements its own software — known for its user-friendly design — with CareCloud Connect, an integrated partner ecosystem that allows physicians to capitalize effortlessly on best-in-class third party solutions.
CareCloud is helping thousands of physicians increase profitability, streamline workflow, and improve patient care nationwide, and currently manages more than $4 billion in annualized accounts receivables on behalf of its revenue cycle management clients. To learn more about CareCloud, visit www.carecloud.com