Amid ICD-10, MACRA talent shortage, practices turn to outsourcing revenue cycle services

Among medical practices with fewer than 25 doctors, the practice of outsourcing comprehensive medical business office services will grow 30 percent during the next year, according to Black Book.

The US market for physician and ambulatory RCM outsourcing and extended business office services, for its part, is on track expand 42 percent between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the end of 2019, Black Book noted.

The survey findings reveal profit margins continue to be impacted negatively by traditional patient billing solutions, prompting 59 percent of medical providers and 86 percent of hospitals to make plans to end their backend efforts to process and reconcile bills by Q3 2017.

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"Rising healthcare expenditures and the complex technology or staffing requirements to succeed under value-based care is creating the urgent demand for cost-effective, technically advanced business office outsourcing solutions" Black Book managing partner Doug Brown said in a statement.

Cerner Revenue Cycle Management outsourcing services, which the company calls Business Office Services, or BOS, received the highest scores for client experience and provider satisfaction in a Black Book survey.

The company outpaced RCM competitors NextGen, Allscripts, Intermedix, Convergent, Conifer Health, AmazingCharts and Kareo, all of which ranked well, according to Black Book, which surveyed 2,000 independent physician practices and 200 hospital-based physician practices.

Currently, almost 88 percent of groups of 100 or more practitioners are implementing partial to full-managed business office services, Black Book added. What's more, 83 percent of hospital-based physicians also report trouble recruiting business office candidates experienced in ICD-10, value-based care, risk contracting and MACRA.

"High-impact drivers include the increasing emphasis on compliance and risk management, and the need for more efficient and cost effective processes," Brown added.