MGMA: HIT, ACOs top medical practices' struggles Print
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 05:24

For the fourth year, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) polled its members to find out what issues have been keeping physician group leaders up at night. According to the MGMA 2011 "Medical Practice Today: What Members Have to Say" research, the top five challenges of running a group practice are as follows:

5. Implementing and/or optimizing an accountable care organization (ACO)

4. Selecting and implementing a new EHR system

3. Dealing with rising operating costs

2. Participating in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' EHR Meaningful Use incentive program

1. Preparing for reimbursement models that place a greater share of financial risk on the practice

As in years past, some perennial concerns, such as coping with rising operating cost and adopting an EHR, shuffled amongst themselves. But, not surprisingly, preparing to practice in a post-reform world dominated the challenges expressed by this year's 1,190 individual respondents.

In fact, all four r... unners-up can be considered symptomatic of practices' No. 1 stressor, which is assuming even greater financial risk than they already do. One of the primary models spurring this concern is, of course, ACOs, which call on participants to boost efficiency and slash costs to collect shared savings. Although ACOs round out the top five issues on practices' minds, uncertainty about their final form has many organizations holding off on creating them formally.

Instead, perhaps the higher ranking of health-IT-related concerns reveals an awareness of the need to put the horse before the cart. In other words, groups know they're going to need a more robust IT infrastructure to achieve real efficiency so they're looking for cost-effective ways to do so as a top priority.

To learn more:
- read the press release from MGMA
- access the full analysis (members only)
- see the article from Healthcare IT News

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MGMA survey reveals unsurprising yet very real struggles among physician practices
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