53% of NJ physicians want to change practice structure

Optimism is wearing thin in New Jersey medical offices and physicians are searching for better ways to manage their practices this year, according to an annual survey from Roseland, N.J.-based law firm Brach Eichler.

Nearly 70 physicians practicing in New Jersey completed the survey. Respondents included physicians in solo practices and group practices, as well as those employed by healthcare facilities.

The survey revealed the following findings.

  • 89.9 percent of physicians in New Jersey believe the healthcare environment is negatively impacting their profession.
  • 86 percent of those physicians reported an increased administrative burden and 60.3 percent reported spending less time with patients, declining reimbursement and increased technology costs at their practices.
  • 39.4 percent of respondents reported having a poor outlook for their medical practice in the year to come, up from 38 percent last year.
  • 22.7 percent of respondents reported a favorable outlook for 2015, but no respondents reported a very favorable view.
  • 53 percent of respondents are thinking about restructuring their practices in the near future, up from 45.5 percent last year. Respondents noted various reasons for restructure, including the need to reduce expenses and inefficiencies as well as the need to strengthen their market share.
  • 44 percent of respondents reported changing their practice structure in 2014 by hiring additional practitioners, integrating their practice with another healthcare organization or retiring.
  • 37.9 percent of physicians reported a decrease in income in 2014 over 2013, and about 60 percent reported flat income. Just over 3 percent reported a substantial increase.
  • 53.03 percent reported declining reimbursements in 2014 compared to 2013.
  • 28.7 percent of respondents are part of an accountable care organization, with 24.1 percent having joined in the past year.
  • Of those respondents in an ACO, only 5.4 percent reported resulting benefits from participating.
  • 56 percent do not expect the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to affect their medical practice.

 

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