Tuesday, March 8, 2016

5 Surprising Findings from the 2015 Practice Profitability Index



Do you want to know how more than 5,000 physicians across the United States feel about their prospects for profitability?

Physician sentiment about their businesses is starting to trend into more positive territory. Yes, plenty of challenges remain – but solutions are also emerging that can help, according to the Third Annual Practice Profitability Index (PPI).

If you’re concerned about your financial prognosis over the coming year – you’re not alone: 31% anticipate a down turn. But the largest percentage of physicians, 35%, expects profitability to stay about the same in the coming year.

Overall, the numbers look encouraging compared to the 2014 PPI – with more doctors anticipating a better year. Here are some of the more surprising findings:

#1. Nearly 1 in 4 physicians now feel optimistic about profits in the year ahead. It’s surprising – in a good way – that this group grew from 19% to 24% in one year.

#2. More than 3 in 5 physicians spend one day per week or more on administrative tasks. It’s surprising that 64% of physicians still feel mired in mundane, required tasks (but this may come as no surprise at all if you’re on the front lines of clinical care).

#3. 10% plan to use their first EHR in the year ahead. The percentage of ‘EHR holdouts’ could be dwindling. A 2015 government report finds that 83% of practices already moved to electronic health records.

#4. Only 2 in 5 physicians say their practices effectively collect patient payments for care. This will become increasingly important as more and more patients choose high deductible health plans, and therefore pay a greater proportion of their medical expenses.

#5. When it comes to potential solutions, more than 1 in 5 doctors feel good about patient engagement programs. It’s somewhat surprising that engagement beat out mobile technologies, although it was close (22% versus 19%).

So why are doctors feeling more upbeat? To see more insight, get the full Third Annual Practice Profitability Index (PPI) report.

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