Nearly half of all independent physicians participating in the 2015 Independent Physician Outlook Survey stated that they’re likely to sell their practices to a large health care provider and exit the industry within the next decade. The ACA (Affordable Care Act), also known as “Obamacare” has created a highly uncertain future for independent physicians across the nation. This highly autonomous group of medical professionals now face several new pressures, that when put together, creates a scenario where remaining independent seems an unattainable goal.
The two most pressing issues that independent physicians currently face, according to the survey, are escalating costs combined with increasing downward pressure on practice reimbursement rates. While, on the surface the situation looks grim, the reality is costs can be managed effectively with careful technology spending. Careful consideration for the need to acquire newer technology to comply with the electronic health records /electronic medical record (EHR/EMR) mandates under ACA can be part of the solution.
While some health care providers see EHR/EMR as an implementation headache and an added expense, what many physicians fail to realize that patient data stored in digital form is one of the most valuable assets they have access to because this data helps aid in making better decisions that can positively impact the bottom line of their practices. Likewise, EHR/EMR is really changing the health care industry in a positive way, working as a catalyst for digital transformation within the health care organizations of all sizes.
As the digital migration continues, new opportunities for the delivery of innovative health care products and services are being created in the process, all made possible through the availability of web services in the private, secure cloud environments where patient health information can also be shared with authorized parties and entities for collaborative care.
The greatest barrier to adoption comes from physicians’ lacking in-house IT support and being unaware of what their technology options are. In their haste, many turn to well-known brand names in the hope of finding the solutions and service they need to be successful. Unfortunately, these options can leave a lot to be desired if problems arise or training for staff is needed. The obvious choice is partnering with a smaller technology provider who offers the same secure and reliable data management solutions without a formidable price tag, and in most cases, a better, more personalized support team than big vendors can offer.
Physicians can harness the power of cloud computing in their own practices to run a more efficient and profitable organization by incorporating products like our customizable hosted NAS (Network Attached Storage) solutions into their office administration platform. Cloud migration for healthcare providers is one of the fastest growing segments of our business these days and we are committed to providing all of the technology that independent physicians need to not just survive, but to thrive under these challenging conditions and those to come in the future.