According to a survey from web-based EMR vendor, Practice Fusion (San Francisco), 45 percent of doctors in small or medium-sized practices report that their practice is doing better this year compared to last. The State of the Small Practice report said that technology has made things easier for approximately 60 percent of US medical providers in private practice.
The survey states administrative costs, insurance and reimbursement issues continue to be major burdens in a changing health care climate defined by government reform, technology mandates and a tumultuous nationwide economy.
The survey states 26 percent of practices use computers that are less than a year old. Thirty-eight percent report that the computers in their practice are over three years old, a major improvement from 73 percent the previous year. (Seven percent of practices have computers in the five to six-year-old range, down from 21 percent in 2011.)
Most practices ranked insurance and reimbursement as the top negative pressure (69 percent), followed by patient compliance issues (64 percent) and practice administration concerns (48 percent). Positive trends are led by advancements in medicine (68 percent), patient compliance (53 percent) and improvement in the healthcare workforce (51 percent).
“We are witnessing a transformation in American medicine. On the one hand, small practice doctors are struggling with rising costs and lower reimbursement rates. On the other hand, technologies such as Practice Fusion’s free EMR system are helping thousands of medical practices across the country to increase efficiency, eliminate paper charts, qualify for federal EMR incentives and provide top quality care to their communities," Ryan Howard, CEO of Practice Fusion, said in a statement.
The 2012 State of the Small Practice study was conducted by an internet survey with a national sample of 1,000 practices gathered through Practice Fusion’s platform.