There's no reason to sugarcoat it: 2022 did not feel like the victory lap we might have hoped for as the healthcare industry continued to get closer to its pre-pandemic normalcy.
The continued disruption of medical groups, health systems and hospitals by tight labor markets was intensified by new reimbursement challenges, rising expenses, concerns about violence against healthcare workers, and a persistent tide of administrative and regulatory burdens.
Our final MGMA Stat message of 2022 asked medical group leaders for their predictions of the biggest trends or changes in healthcare in 2023:
- Broader adoption of virtual assistants
- Increased use of artificial intelligence (A.I.) on the provider side
- Better prediction of health events with data from patient wearable devices
- Efforts to update or replace virtual care platforms
- Improvements in 3D printing for medical devices
Staffing and retention
- More internal education programs to develop clinical and administrative workers
- Major impacts from the anesthesiologist shortage
- Increased use of part-time employees and flexible schedules
Revenue and expenses
- The impact of Medicare physician reimbursement cuts limiting growth and impacting patient access: “Unless the government responds and reverses the current decrease in the physician fee schedule, a major decline in participation in Medicare and access to care.”
- Major efforts for cost reduction continue to grow: “Running a medical practice can be expensive, with costs such as rent, utilities, supplies, and staff salaries. These costs can be especially challenging for small practices that may have limited resources.”
- Increased difficulty in collecting patient balances due to economic trends and increasing financial responsibility from high-deductible health plans (HDHPs)
- Changes in the prior authorization rules of benefit providers
- Payer mix challenges amid Medicaid redetermination and patients losing coverage
- Intense focus from medical groups on payer downcoding of claims
- The slow shift to value away from fee-for-service (FFS) continues
Risk and compliance
- Increasing government audits, especially around Medicare Advantage plans and telehealth services
Operations and ownership
- An increase in non-acute care being provided at urgent care/”quick care” centers
- A steady decrease in private practice closures driven by financial strain, as well as mergers and acquisitions by supergroups and large systems to grow their provider networks
The journey continues
Throughout 2022, MGMA Stat — a weekly national poll of healthcare leaders on medical practice management topics — continued to take the pulse of the healthcare industry on crucial issues.
The voices of thousands of medical group leaders helped tell the stories that defined the past year and frame our expectations for another year of recovery ahead in 2023.
This report reflects on how healthcare administrators and executives confronted the conflicts with courage, compassion and clever ideas, and offers expert advice on what to expect as the journey continues.
Download the report (PDF)