Medical Practice Management: Change, Reform Affects

Medical Practice management is changing.  Have you noticed the old jokes about doctors making house calls are not heard as often? Heck, how many people now really know what a house call was?

Truth be told, many. The point being that within most of our lifetimes the practice of medicine and the delivery of health care have changed dramatically and those changes are ongoing.

In recent weeks, much of the attention of health care professionals and industry leaders has been focused on Washington where the Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

There are some who suggest the court’s action, regarding the medical industry, may be moot.

In an article for Health Leaders Media, Cheryl Clark and Margaret Dick Tocknell explored the question of whether health care leaders would back off efforts under way that are designed to enable them to deal with the changes brought by the Act.

The answers might surprise some. The majority of leaders interviewed for the story said that health care reform was not going to fade away even if the disputed new law is struck down.

Clark and Tocknell quoted Michael Dowling, president and CEO of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.

"Even if the entire law disappears, healthcare reform will continue because it's become part of our DNA. Everyone is talking about it now," he said.

Physicians in private practice are also facing issues and questions about reform and change. Recent surveys by the Physicians Foundation, found doctors were clearly not enamored with the new law (67 percent said their initial reaction was somewhat or very negative). At the same time, 74 percent said they would take steps to change their current practice style.

The strains affecting physicians in private practice go far beyond concerns about how the new health care law will affect them. The demands of running a private practice, including handling medical billing, leave many doctors feeling frustrated. The issues affecting medical practice management are having a significant impact on the front line of medicine.

Many physicians are joining a growing trend of working for or aligning with hospitals. Many who can are retiring or moving on to other occupations. There are still many doctors who are trying to find ways to maintain their independence and keep their medical practices operating successfully while doing what they do best — delivering quality care to their patients. Streamlining medical billing, outsourcing medical billing, opening the door to using an EMR/EHR system, and finding other sources of support are becoming the norm.

If you are one of those in need of stronger success and support, Clinic Service can help you explore your options, contact us.

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