Physicians Foundation named eroding physician autonomy as one of the top five issues to impact physicians and patients in 2013. Many independent practices are facing multiple pressures including decreasing reimbursements, increasingly complex regulations and burdensome medical billing codes.
One of the biggest threats to physicians' independence is the increase of interference by non-clinical personnel in the decision making process. Insurance companies are often the culprit either denying care or requesting alternatives to physician recommended procedures and prescriptions.
In 2013 and beyond physicians will need to be skilled at identifying ways to streamline their business processes to meet the ever increasing challenges of maintaining a private practice. A physician who remains independent has the flexibility to make sound clinical decisions for their patients.
In addition to loss of autonomy, another pressure being felt by physicians is uncertainty over PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). Many questions remain about the implementation of PPACA such as Medicare reimbursements, the mechanics of health insurance exchanges and accountable care organizations. The ongoing uncertainty about the mechanics of PPACA makes it difficult for physicians to plan for the future of their practices. It will be crucial for them to watch the development and implementation of PPACA.
It is beneficial for physicians, especially those who maintain private practices to have help and support as they navigate the increasingly complex world of insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, electronic health records and medical billing codes. A good medical billing company can be an invaluable ally for a small private practice. In today's complex medical landscape, a physician advocate can be a difficult thing for doctors in private practice to find.
In spite of all of these difficulties, primary care doctors are continuing to provide excellent care for their patients. A recent survey conducted by Physicians Foundation found that nearly 80% of patients are very satisfied with the care they receive from their doctor. At Clinic Service, we are committed to reducing the administrative burdens for physicians so that they are free to focus on what they do best, care for their patients.