TAMPA, Fla. – (June 28, 2012) – With three in four private doctors’ practices losing money and one in four saying they may not be in business next year, today’s Supreme Court ruling clearing the way for tens of millions of new Medicaid patients—which generally reimburses for services below actual cost—may be the blow that breaks the bank for many physicians.
According to a national survey of 673 physicians in private practices of 10 or less doctors by MDLinx, a widely used medical and health care abstract Internet portal, 75 percent have instituted austerity measures, are going into debt, or are using personal assets to stay in business. More than one in four say they see closing their doors within a year a very real possibility.
James Doulgeris, Senior Health Care Strategist with Tampa-based HCP said, “Physicians in single or smaller private practices have had to absorb the added costs brought on by increased regulations, insuring against unfettered lawsuits, and bad debt resulting from escalating insurance deductibles and co-pays, among a host of other changes beyond their control; many are in real trouble.”
Dr. Jane Orient, the executive director of the Association of Physicians and Surgeons said, “a high percentage of physicians have said they cannot afford to or simply will not practice under these new regulations.” She added that many physicians are already selling their practices to big hospitals and clinics.
According to Doulgeris, if the future is leading to selling or merging, physicians will be well advised to invest in professional assistance to increase the value of their practice and to provide assistance in negotiating the sale. Value metrics include the blend of insurances in their active patient rolls, patient experience, satisfaction ratings and the other considerations common to any business.
“The impact to all of us as patients,” added Doulgeris, “is going to be less personal, institutional type care with fewer diagnostic tests, shifting much of the responsibility for health and wellness to patients. That should be a strong motivation for everyone to consider lifestyle changes to reduce the risks of chronic disease such as diabetes, lung disease and cardiac disease caused by obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption.”
For more information on the state of health care and business, contact HCP at 813.318.0565 or visit them on the web at www.hcpassociates.com.