Rick Rutherford, CMPE
The pace of change in the field of medical practice management is unprecedented. Five major trends are affecting the business of healthcare: quality as a criterion for reimbursement; regulatory controls on fees and services; consumer influence on healthcare payments; full disclosure of claims data (i.e., transparency); and increases in active patient load per physician. Successful practice administrators must remain well-informed about these trends in order to guide their practices toward modifications that will allow them to continue to flourish. The changes have been driven by economics, government regulations, and shifts in the country’s population. In particular, the aging of the baby boomer generation has opened the eyes of the nation to the potential for costs of healthcare that are unsupportable within the current system. Independent physician practices can still be financially viable if the leadership team becomes nimble in adopting necessary operational changes that support opportunities for revenue optimization.