The Physician Foundation released its Physicians Watch List highlighting the five biggest issues facing doctors in 2014. Here’s brief information about the list:
- Consolidation leading to monopolization. Consolidation concerns made last year’s list, but this year, those worries about more and more doctors joining larger and larger health systems have morphed into anxiety about eroding competition.
- Continuing growth of regulatory burdens. Nonclinical paperwork already takes up a lot of physicians’ time, but with the deadline for ICD-10 implementation looming, even more time for administrative paperwork will be required of doctors.
- Confusion. Many private practice physicians have not been educated on how the new health insurance exchanges work and so are unsure how to explain them to their patients. Their own lack of understanding has led them to be worried about whether their reimbursement rates will be less in the exchanges; whether they will be able to control the number of exchange-based patients they will have to take on; and the potential difficulties of collecting out-of-pocket charges from these patients.
- Health information technology. Doctors are frustrated by the lack of interoperability between electronic health systems and are worried about how HIT will impact how they practice and protecting the privacy and security of patient information.
- Stalemates. Doctors, too, are frustrated by the seeming inability of Congress to operate. Particular worries associated with lawmaker decisions include the continued struggle to repeal the sustainable growth rate and what will happen if the 24 percent cut scheduled for the start of 2014 is triggered; ongoing deadlock on tort reform; and worries about the fate of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements in federal budget talks.
Source: Healthcare Finance News
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