MDLinx Doc Survey: 26% of Small Private Practices Say They Could Close Within A Year
More than 75 percent report austerity measures, going into debt or tapping personal assets to keep practices open
Washington, DC, June 27, 2012 - In an MDLinx (www.mdlinx.com) survey of U.S. physicians with ownership of practices of ten physicians or less, 26.4 percent reported that given the financial environment, they could foresee closing their practices within the next year. MDLinx, a web property of M3 USA (http://usa.m3.com) is the nation’s leading specialty physician portal.
“This poll is quite startling in the revelations about small practices, the healthcare lifelines to many communities,” said Stephen Smith, Chief Marketing Officer for MDLinx. “Physicians have had missiles raining in on their practices at an increasing pace – the economy, regulations, paperwork, insurance, lawsuits, etc.,” said Smith. “The coming retraction this survey hints at from small practices to larger clinics and hospitals would mean longer drives to less personal, higher cost medical care for millions of Americans.” The poll had a total of 673 double-verified physician respondents, 254 in the target category of small practice owners and partners detailed here.
“There was a marked disparity in the physician’s financial situation and morale tied to the size of their current work environment,” said Smith. “The poll revealed that 31.7 percent of these smaller practice physicians forecast that 2012 would be one of their worst earning years ever, while only 13 percent of the physicians at larger practices or hospitals reported that. Thirty two percent of the larger practice and hospital-based physicians reported suffering a cut in their personal pay while 53.1 percent of the smaller practice doctors have seen their incomes drop,” A hidden finding in the survey was that more than one out of three US physicians say they will be taking home less money in 2012 than in prior years.
Other austerity items reported by small practices included cutting back personnel and services (49.1 percent), tapping personal savings to cover operating expenses (22.8 percent) and borrowing to cover operating expenses (20.1 percent).
“The general trend is lower reimbursements and higher overhead costs including payroll, overhead, business and insurance costs,” said one physician respondent. “Small practices may become extinct if this trend continues.”
About M3 USA
M3 USA is a part of M3, Inc. and M3 Group. M3 Group operates in the US, Asia, and Europe with more than 1 million physician members globally via its physician websites such as www.m3.com, www.mdlinx.com, www.doctors.net.uk, and www.medigate.net.
M3, Inc., a publicly traded company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (JP: 2413) provides services to healthcare and life science industry to reach out to their audience. M3 services include medical education, ethical drug promotion, market research, clinical development, job recruitment, and clinic appointment services. M3 has offices in Tokyo, Washington DC, and Princeton, Oxford, London and Seoul.
MDLinx (www.mdlinx.com) is an award-winning, practical medical information tool used by busy physicians and healthcare professionals to stay up to date with the latest research in the medical field. On a daily basis, the company’s physician editors read, rank and sort published data and research from leading news media and more than 1,300 peer-reviewed journals in 35 specialties. MDLinx’s content and services are provided at no charge to member physicians. MDLinx is a web property of M3 USA, http://usa.m3.com, which offers information solutions to healthcare providers and industry.
Greg Jones for MDLinx