SOURCE: Kareo

September 08, 2016 09:02 ET

Independent Physicians Achieve Patient Care, Income Goals With Innovative Practice Models, Kareo Study Shows

Physicians in Practices Using Innovative Care and Payment Models Spend More Time With Patients and Increase Their Potential to Achieve Practice Income Goals; Services Cost Less Than Most Patients Expect

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 8, 2016) - According to a recent Private Practice Model Perspectives Study by Kareo, the leading provider of clinical and business management software to independent practices, approximately 24% of independent physicians are using some form of innovative practice or payment model. The study, completed in partnership with the American Association of Private Physicians, also found an additional 46% are considering a similar strategy within the next three years. The primary motivations for those who've changed their payment model are:

  • 64% want to spend more time with patients
  • 46% would like to reduce reliance on insurance companies
  • 42% seek to improve their work/life balance
  • 26% believe they need to earn more income

The innovation and experimentation with new practice and payment models appears to be working for both doctors and patients. This includes providing concierge, direct pay or subscription plans to offer patients more choices in how they receive care and how they pay for it.

  • 72% of survey respondents who have concierge or membership models spend 30-60 minutes per patient visit as compared to 30 minutes or less for 89% of practices without subscription models
  • At the same time, the subscription costs of 69% of respondents were $2,000 or less per year and 87% were $3,000 or less per year

Most physicians surveyed offered monthly and quarterly payments. This suggests that subscription-based models, sometimes presumed to be very expensive, can actually be affordable for a wider range of patients. They provide an excellent solution for patients with a high-deductible insurance plan or who want a higher level of physician engagement.

Dan Rodrigues, CEO and founder, Kareo, said, "It's gratifying to see independent practices reaching their clinical and business goals through the application of helpful technology and an openness to new practice models. Adopting a subscription model is a great example of how independent practices are innovating in order to thrive in a challenging healthcare environment. By offering a range of services and flexible payment methods, physicians are increasing the quality of care, improving patient satisfaction, and maintaining an affordable cost structure."

Specialized practices are also branching out to adopt new practice models. For example, Dr. A.R. Scopelliti, Monmouth Functional Neurology Center in New Jersey, specializes in functional neurology and offers an a la carte service model.

"I used to participate in every managed care network available, but after a four-year legal battle with an insurance company, I seriously considered changing professions. Then I received an e-mail from a patient who had been suicidal due to his neurological issues. He thanked me for literally saving his life. I realized then that I love being a physician, but I needed to make my practice work for everyone."

Continued Dr. Scopelliti, "Just as before, my practice continues to see about 150 new patients a year, plus ongoing care of existing patients. I always spend a long time on patient visits, 30-60 minutes on average, and now I feel happy about it because I get paid for the time and can focus on the patient. I'd say the biggest challenge for a direct-pay practice is getting patients to see that they have choices beyond simply doing what the insurance company says, but for me, my change of model saved my love of medicine."

To learn more about results of the 2015 study, a private practice study infographic is available.

About Kareo
Kareo is the only cloud-based complete medical technology platform purpose-built to meet the unique needs of independent practices. Today Kareo helps over 35,000 providers in all 50 states run more efficient and profitable practices, while delivering outstanding patient care. The Kareo technology platform is the first to help independent practices find more patients, manage their care with a fully certified and easy-to-use EHR, and get paid quickly all in one complete and integrated package. Kareo has received extensive industry recognition, including the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, Inc. 5000 and Black Book's #1 Integrated EHR, Practice Management and Medical Billing Vendor. Kareo's growth further demonstrates the expansion and vitality of the independent practice market in the U.S. With offices across the country, Kareo's mission is to help independent practices succeed in an ever-changing healthcare market. More information can be found at www.kareo.com.

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