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ACO Concerns Top Challenges for Medical Practice Managers

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, July 1, 2011

The specter of accountable care looms large in the minds of medical practice managers.

Getting ready for new reimbursement models (such as ACOs) that will mean more financial risk for their physician practices tops the list of the most considerable or extreme challenges practice managers face, a survey from the Medical Group Management Association shows.

Medical practice managers, who work behind the scenes at physician offices handling everything from human resources and business operations to patient care systems and quality management, were asked to rank 44 challenges on a five-point scale for MGMA’s fourth annual Medical Practice Today: What Members Have to Say report.


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Operational issues dominate the top five spots while financial, compensation, and recruitment issues round out the top 10:

1.      Preparing for reimbursement models that place a greater share of financial risk on the practice

2.      Participating in the CMS EHR Meaningful Use incentive program

3.      Dealing with rising operating costs

4.      Selecting and implementing a new EHR system

5.      Implementing and/or optimizing an accountable care organization

6.      Managing finances with the uncertainty of Medicare reimbursement rates

7.      Modifying physician compensation formulas to more heavily emphasize quality measures

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