As healthcare continues to experience tremendous change, medical groups that proactively embrace a patient-centric, value-based approach to practice management are outperforming those following the status quo, according to the 2017 Practice Performance Index (PPI). CareCloud, a platform for high-performance medical groups, collaborated with UBM Medica to conduct the PPI study examining the issues affecting the financial and operational performance of U.S. medical practices.
The more than 2,000 practice leaders who responded to the survey were grouped into three segments based on their performance over the last three years: high-performing, managing, or falling behind. Performance segments were based on the following criteria: increases in practice collections, number of practice locations, number of providers, total patient volume, and provider satisfaction. While there were no significant differences in responses based on practice size, specialty, or geography, there were significant differences in responses between the “high-performing” and “falling behind” performance segments.
High-performing medical practices stood out from the competition in three key areas:
Preparing for reimbursement changes
Adopting innovative health technology
Improving patient experience
High-performing practices reported expecting pressures to intensify at higher rates than those falling behind (63% v. 52%)—this could be as a result of their greater degree of forward planning (many have a plan for value-based care transitions) or may simply reflect a more realistic assessment of the many challenges facing practices today. Also, providers and staff in high-performing practices report much higher rates of overall job satisfaction (69%) compared to those working in falling behind practices (7%).
In open-ended responses, many practice leaders talked about innovating care delivery outside the influence of payer and regulatory forces: “[We will] continue to offer more personal hands-on medical care to patients so as to keep swimming against the tide of the ‘corporatization’ of medicine phenomenon” and “[We will] continue to treat patients as individuals, medical condition, and human personality frailty included, with minimal intrusion by massive third-party entities.”
In reference to goals for the year ahead, medical practices were split between wanting to expand through hiring and acquisition (“[We plan to] add staff and providers to keep pace with growth”) or to close their practices (“[I want to] get out of medicine and leave the headaches behind”).
Practice Performance Index (PPI) Methodology
CareCloud has been tracking the financial and operational performance of physician practices since 2013 through partnerships with leading organizations in the field. In 2017, the PPI was carried out with the support of UBM Medica, one of the largest healthcare media and publishing companies in the United States. UBM Medica is a wholly owned subsidiary of UBM. 2,020 physicians and practice administrators participated in the fourth annual PPI survey during March and April of 2017, making it one of the largest efforts of its kind in the industry. Participants provided their insights via an interactive online survey.