Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Your practice and the recession

Rising operating costs, declining reimbursement, and implementing an EHR are the top three challenges for running a group practice, according to an MGMA member survey out this week.

Not much of a surprise, and in fact, those same three concerns topped the list last year as well. But new in fourth place this year was collecting from self-pay patients and those with high-deductible health plans and health savings accounts. Perhaps a sign of the recession.

MGMA’s survey also asked members specifically about how they recession was affecting their practices. Read more
Here’s how many practices said they are dealing with it:
- 36.6 percent said they have postponed capital expenditures;
- 34.7 percent are seeing a rise in uninsured patients;
- 34.5 percent have implemented a staff hiring freeze;
- 33.9 percent have cut operating budgets;
- 33.3 percent have improved billing and collections processes; and
- 33.1 percent have witnessed a decrease in revenue.

In our recent technology survey (coming up in our September issue), we asked how the recession was affecting tech purchases, and nearly 41 percent of respondents said they were putting off purchases.

Earlier this year, we offered a guide on how to survive the downturn, including controlling overhead, collecting co-pays while patients are in the office, and offering patient financing.

How is the recession affecting your practice? Are you doing more than belt-tightening?

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