Primary Care Businesses Improving Financially

Alternative payment models appear to be more advantageous than those operating on a fee-for-service basis.
Alternative payment models appear to be more advantageous than those operating on a fee-for-service basis.

HealthDay News -- The financial outlook for primary care practices is improving, but not all practices are experiencing the same improvements, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

According to the Physician Report, featuring responses from 2065 physicians, in 2014, 22% of primary care providers reported that their financial state of practice was better than a year ago, up from 15% in 2013. Thirty percent reported that their financial state of practice was worse than a year ago, down from 39% in 2013.

In general, American College of Physicians members who have started making the transition to alternative payment models are better off than those operating solely on a fee-for-service basis. In addition, the Affordable Care Act provision that raised Medicaid's reimbursement rates to the same level as Medicare in 2013 and 2014 is likely to have aided primary care practice finances. Although many primary care physicians report seeing more patients, most practices are not yet seeing an increase in their income.

"Primary care physicians' attitudes about their financial situation may be based as much on emotion as dollars and cents," according to the report. "After a long period of neglect, primary care physicians are starting to feel valued again, thanks to the new emphasis on teamwork and patient outcomes in emerging payment models."

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