“It is not surprising that ‘maintaining finances with the uncertainty of Medicare reimbursement rates' jumped to the No. 2 spot this year due to the continued congressional irresponsibility in not permanently addressing the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula,” MGMA President and CEO William Jessee said in a written statement.
Dealing with rising operating costs ranked at No. 1, with selecting a new electronic health-record system ranking as the No. 3 concern for practices.
Physicians potentially face a nearly 30% cut in their Medicare physician payments in January, in the event Congress doesn't act to stop a 21.2% cut looming in December. On top of that reduction, physicians are scheduled to receive a 6.1% cut in January, under the CMS' proposed 2011 physician fee schedule.
Medicare reimbursement uncertainty had previously ranked No. 5 in the MGMA's member survey in 2008 and 2009.
When asked how the recession is affecting their medical groups and how they are responding, participants said they've improved upon their billing collections and/or denial management processes, but have also experienced decreased revenue, operating budget cuts, postponed capital expenditures and an increase in uninsured patients.