"Hospitals and health systems are buying up small practices and absorbing solo physicians at a faster pace. Besides affecting local competition, costs, and patient choice, the trend has physicians worried about clinical autonomy," the report claims. The big fear is mergers create more bureaucracies that could take away decision making power from physicians administering care.
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Physician-patient relationships could be strained
"The increased documentation of value-based reimbursement systems and perceived interference of health care employers are considered key external pressures on the relationship between patients and their physicians ... eating into their face-to-face interactions with patients while also limiting their choices of practice types and requiring more time spent negotiating with payers and vendors," the report says.
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ICD-10 is here at last
"Physicians were given a one-year reprieve when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) postponed the implementation date for the new ICD-10 coding structure to Oct. 1, 2015. But the extra time likely won’t improve many physicians’ outlook or support," the report indicates. That's because most physicians found it overly complicated, though the rush to comply will cause real administrative headaches.
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Patients want to talk real costs
"Medical costs were once a hidden algebra to the public, deciphered only by payers and health care administrators. But media focus in recent years on the lack of transparency in billing practices, as well as higher out-of-pocket costs for patients, has the public much more frustrated," the report claims. That makes it hard for physicians to give the best advice for care when cost is weighed so heavily by the patient.
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More insured, more patients
"As more people are gaining access to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act and demanding health care services, the overall number of physicians is declining or reducing the amount of time available to see patients," the study found. In fact, the AAFP survey found 44 percent of physicians feel they will have to scale back access to their care, which could create a scramble as patients look for available physicians.
Clinical Quality Measures 101Although quality-reporting programs such as meaningful use provide incentives to help providers implement and use electronic health records (EHRs) to collect and report on clinical data, practices often need help deciding what data to collect, which measures to report ...