Managed Care

Private practice physicians find dual role challenging

When it comes to balancing the role of business owner and practicing physician, many private practice doctors are having a tough time of it. One quarter of the physicians surveyed by American Express describe maintaining the dual role as "extremely challenging," while 58 percent describe it as "challenging."

Nearly half (43 percent) of all physicians surveyed report spending the equivalent of at least one full day per week (defined as seven hours) managing their business, with specialists spending more time on the business of their practices overall. According to the survey, 24 percent of oncologists, 22 percent of rheumatologists, and 20 percent of urologists report that they or their partners spend at least 21 hours per week managing their practice.

And the workload isn't getting any lighter. The survey also asked how the physician's patient volume has changed over the past year, with 61 percent reporting that it increased, 31 percent reporting no change, and 8 percent reporting a decrease. But that doesn't translate into more revenue, according to the survey — 36 percent of physicians said their revenue increased, 34 percent said it stayed the same, and 31 percent said it decreased over the past year.

Increases in patient volume...... don't translate into more revenue


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