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Many Medical Groups Favor Affiliations with ACO, PHO or IPA Models Over Formal Mergers: MGMA

June 30, 2014
by John DeGaspari
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Survey also points to challenges leveraging technology and ICD-10 compliance as challenges facing medical practices

More than 40 percent of medical practice executives responding to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) research indicate that they have or are planning to informally integrate their practice with other healthcare organizations. This includes clinical integration with a hospital or health system, as well as forming or joining an accountable care organization (ACO), physician/hospital organization (PHO) or independent practice association (IPA). Only 27 percent of respondents indicated that they have or plan to formally integrate by merging with another physician-owned practice or by selling practice ownership to a hospital or health system.

Respondents to the MGMA research, “Medical Practice Today: What Members Have to Say,” also revealed their biggest daily professional challenges to MGMA and disclosed their struggles to adapt to rapid changes, legislative pressures and fiscal uncertainty. According to 542 respondents, the most applicable and intense challenges of running a group practice include preparing for the transition to ICD-10 diagnosis coding, dealing with rising operating costs, and preparing for reimbursement models that place a greater share of financial risk on the practice.

Respondents also cited “engaging patients to improve outcomes” and “leveraging new technologies to enhance patient communications through patient portals, emails, Web sites and video conferencing” as highly applicable in running a medical practice.




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