News Feature | August 29, 2016

Health IT Has $32K Per Doctor Price Tag

Source: Allscripts
Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

mhealth cost for doctors

The cost to keep up with technology is around $32,000 per doctor, per year, according to the Medical Group Management Association.

A study from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) found the cost of health IT can be broken down to one simple figure; $32,000 per year, per doctor.

The research team analyzed data from a 2016 MGMA survey of more than 3,100 physician practices across the country. According to Fierce Healthcare IT, the study found physician-owned multi-specialty practices spent more than $32,500 in 2015 for each full-time doctor on health IT equipment, staff, maintenance, and other related costs.

“While technology plays a crucial role in helping healthcare organizations evolve to provide higher-quality, value-based care, this transition is becoming increasingly expensive,” said Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, MMM, FAAP, CMPE, president and CEO of the Medical Group Management Association in an announcement.

“We remain concerned that far too much of a practice’s IT investment is tied directly to complying with the ever-increasing number of federal requirements, rather than to providing better patient care. Unless we see significant changes in the final MIPS/APM rule, practice IT costs will continue to rise without a corresponding improvement in the care delivery process.”

Increases in the cost of IT can be attributed to growing IT staff expenses, (up by 47 percent per full-time physician since 2009), investment in online patient portals, and decreased incentives to adopt EHRs.

IT costs were just one of many expenses that increased in the last year. There was a nearly 15 percent increase in total operating costs for physician-owned multispecialty practices by in 2015. According to the report, this is a faster increase than the 10 percent increase in total revenue the same practices saw last year.