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In late 2020, Medical Economics® asked our physician audience what they thought would be the most challenging issues they will face this year. This is what they told us. Original articles are linked in the descriptions
Among its other effects, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the growing importance of value-based payment models for primary care practices. Especially in the early stages of the crisis, when patient visits plummeted, value-based contracts provided a financial lifeline to practices that had them.
Physicians have different financial concerns at different stages of their careers. Older physicians are keenly aware of retirement while younger physicians are focusing on getting their careers started and often staring down a pile of student debt.
A primary care physician in many places can drive down the street and see competition on the rise, but it’s not from other doctors’ offices. Pharmacy chains and even some retailers are vying for the same patients but often have far more resources than the average primary care doctor. In addition, non-physician providers are gaining increased independence, siphoning off low-acuity patients and their reimbursement.
Electronic health record (EHR) systems remain a primary physician frustration. While the vendor market has matured, there is still a massive usability gap between what physicians want their systems to do and what their systems are capable of.
A practice is only as good as the people who work there but finding and keeping the right people can seem like an insurmountable task. This can be compounded with the uncertainty and increased scrutiny introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The perennial issue of physician burnout has only been intensified by the equipment shortages and shutdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite increased awareness in the health care system the same problem persists.
Generating enough revenue to keep a practice open requires knowing the intricacies of medical coding to make sure reimbursement is maximized while also recognizing trends that keep patients coming back.
If doctors had to chart their feelings about practicing medicine, many would list “paperwork” as their chief complaint.