3 Reasons to Upgrade Your Medical Practice Technology Now

Lea Chatham May 21st, 2014

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2014 Black Book Survey

With increasing challenges each year, many small medical practices are struggling to stay independent. Today, over 80% of physician practices anticipate declining-to-negative profitability in 2015 due to diminishing reimbursements and underutilized or inefficient billing and records technology.

To combat this problem, practices are planning to upgrade and add technology. Over 45% of practices are looking to upgrade their revenue cycle management (RCM), practice management (PM), and EHR collectively and 90% of physicians replacing their EHRs are seeking a seamless single source vendor.Tweet this Kareo story

The reasons for the change are simple. Technology improvements can help practices recruit and retain patients, meet challenges like ICD-10 more effectively, and increase revenue. These improvements could make the difference between staying independent and being forced to sell.

Recruit & Retain Patients
The way patients perceive healthcare is changing. They want a more service-oriented experience. This includes care using an EHR and access to medical records through a patient portal. Two-thirds of patients would consider switching to a physician who offers secure access to medical records online, and 73% of patients are more loyal to their physician when there is an EHR. If a practice doesn’t have an EHR or has outdated technology, it will be a struggle to appeal to today’s patients and stay competitive.

Adapt to Industry Changes
The same goes for meeting industry changes like the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and ICD-10. More than 90% of practices are concerned about changes to clinical documentation, coding staff productivity, and changes to clinical productivity with ICD-10. A successful transition to ICD-10 requires technology that will provide top codes reporting, ICD9 to ICD-10 crosswalks, training, and coding support. No provider wants to work with a 10-page paper superbill. An integrated EHR and practice management system that is ready for ICD-10 can make the process of changing so much easier to manage.

Streamline Tasks & Increase Revenue
Another big benefit of upgrading to integrated practice management and EHR is the reduction or elimination of many tedious office tasks and an overall improvement in billing. The result according to a UBM white paper is an average increase in revenue of $33,000 per FTE provider per year! The added bonus is the ability to access incentives like meaningful use and avoid the coming penalties, which could be as much as 11% in five years.

There are many other positives to upgrading to a single source vendor for new technology. With only one vendor to work with, training, support and upgrades are easier. Vendors like Kareo offer a seamlessly integrated RCM, PM, and EHR solution for one low monthly cost, helping the practice keep expenses in check. And a single solution has a short learning curve for staff, getting the practice up and running on new technology quickly.

Recent extensions for ICD-10 and meaningful use have given practices time to choose and implement new solutions effectively. Take advantage of this time to upgrade technology.

Learn more about the coming trends in upgrades, outsourcing, and integration for small practices in the 2014 Black Book Survey.

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