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More U.S. Doctors Leaving Private Practice Due to Rising Costs and Technology Mandates, Accenture Report Finds

As we approach a very important election this week, healthcare is still an uncertain future. Patients, physicians and health systems are still trying to navigate this new and ever changing landscape.

Last week, Accenture announced a new report that reveals partly due to the IT costs associated with expensive technology mandates, physicians are increasingly leaving private practice for more secure employment with larger hospital systems. In fact, Accenture predicts that by the end of 2013, the number of independent physicians will drop to 36 percent (down from 57 percent in 2000). And for those who do not decide to remain independent, one in three physicians will begin offering subscription-based services such as concierge medicine in order to sustain profits.

More U.S. Doctors Leaving Private Practice Due to Rising Costs and Technology Mandates, Accenture Report Finds
By 2013, only 36 percent of doctors are projected to remain independent while subscription-based services for patients continue to increase

ARLINGTON, Va; Oct. 31, 2012 – An increasing number of U.S. doctors are expected to leave private practice for hospital employment over the next 18 months, due to rising costs and technology mandates, according to a new report from Accenture. By the end of 2013, Accenture also estimates that one-in-three doctors remaining independent will offer patients with subscription-based services, such as telemedicine or online consultations, for sustaining profit – a trend that is expected to increase three-fold over the next three years.

Over the past decade, the number of independent U.S. physicians has dropped dramatically, from 57 percent in 2000 to 39 percent in 2012. By the end of 2013, Accenture predicts this number will likely drop further, to 36 percent, and is 3.6 percent lower than Accenture’s 2011 report. The Accenture findings resulted from extensive market analysis on U.S. physician employment and a survey of 204 physicians in independent practice that was conducted in May 2012.

Among the other key findings of the survey:

The majority (87 percent) of physicians surveyed cited the cost and expense of running a business as a chief concern.
Most doctors (65 percent) joining health systems said they expect to make the same or less compensation than in private practice.
Sixty-one percent cited business operations as a main reason for seeking hospital employment rather than remaining independent.
More than half of doctors (53 percent) cited electronic medical record requirements as a main reason for leaving private practice.
“More independent physicians are offering subscription-based services as a way for patients to customize their care experience,” said Kaveh Safavi, M.D., J.D., who leads Accenture’s North America health industry. “Meanwhile, patients appreciate the opportunity to supplement their existing coverage with premium, subscription-based services, such as same-day appointments and online prescription refills.”

Learn more about Accenture’s Insight Driven Health.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with 257,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

November 5, 2012 I Written By

Consult A Doctor Prepares for 2012 Flu Season with Launch of FLUHOTLINE24/7, A Medical Resource for Patients Across the U.S

Consult A Doctor, an innovator of telemedicine services and technology solutions, today announced the launch of FLUHOTLINE24/7, a resource that will connect people in all 50 states with board certified physicians that can diagnose, treat and prescribe medications, if appropriate, for the highly contagious flu virus via phone.

Here are some of the main highlights:
Industry Statistics
- According to a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) announcement, more than 160 million cases of the flu are expected for the 2011-2012 flu season.
- In an average year, flu-related complications lead to over 200,000 hospitalizations, many of which are non-emergent and contribute to an overcrowded, wasteful healthcare system.

Consult A Doctor’s FLUHOTLINE24/7
- Consult A Doctor’s network of physicians use the most current clinical information and treatment guidelines from the CDC to answer any flu related questions and provide educational medical instruction and advice.
- A typical consultation with a Consult A Doctor physician via FLUHOTLINE24/7, either via a call to 1-855-DOC-4FLU or logging on to www.FLUHOTLINE247.com, takes just minutes and costs under $40, regardless of insurance status.
- Consult A Doctor also provides a web portal that grants patients and physicians access to a robust health library and other wellness tools.

Consult A Doctor Gives Patients Seeking Diagnosis and Treatment for Flu Symptoms Immediate Access to Physicians via Phone at Low Cost

Miami, FL., January 18, 2012 — The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently announced that it is expecting more than 160 million cases of the flu over the 2011-2012 flu season. In an average year, complications related to the flu lead to over 200,000 hospitalizations, many of which are non-emergent and contribute to an overcrowded, wasteful healthcare system. To help solve the problem of physician access, Consult A Doctor, an innovator of telemedicine services and technology solutions, today announced the launch of FLUHOTLINE24/7, a resource that will connect people in all 50 states with board certified physicians that can diagnose, treat and prescribe medications, if appropriate, for the highly contagious flu virus via phone.

Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms may call 1-855-DOC-4FLU or log on to www.FLUHOTLINE247.com and be connected with a certified physician in real-time, from anywhere, 24/7/365. A Consult A Doctor physician will conduct a brief consultation via phone. For patients that may need medication, a thorough medical intake will be performed and, if warranted, the doctor can provide a prescription for anti-viral or other indicated medications.

Consult A Doctor’s network of physicians use the most current clinical information and treatment guidelines from the CDC to answer any flu related questions and provide educational medical instruction and advice. A typical consultation with a Consult A Doctor physician via FLUHOTLINE24/7 takes just minutes and costs under $40, regardless of insurance status.

“Until now, concierge medicine has been something few people could obtain. When we are sick, we typically have to get in our cars and drive ourselves to our primary physician’s office – if we have one. If not, our options are quite limited and usually entail spending most of a day at the local ER, wasting time and spending hundreds of dollars,” said Wolf Shlagman, Founder and CEO of Consult A Doctor. “With telemedicine services, this entire process changes. Patients can obtain affordable, quality medical care without ever leaving their home. This is especially important when dealing with a pandemic like the flu as it insulates physicians, patients and the general public from exposure to germs.”

In addition to the FLUHOTLINE24/7 resource, Consult A Doctor also provides a web portal that grants patients and physicians access to a robust health library and other wellness tools. Using this web portal, visitors may schedule appointments, store and share Personal Health Records (PHRs) and consult with physicians regarding any non-emergency illness via secure email consultations.

“As a practicing physician, I have seen influenza season put a strain on time, energy and resources – not only in my own practice but also in urgent care clinics, ER departments and hospitals. Many times health problems are exacerbated by patients not seeking care in a timely manner, resulting in worsening illness and serious complications, including bronchitis, pneumonia, respiratory failure and even death,” said Dr. Doug Smith, CMO of Consult A Doctor and Co-founder of MinuteClinic. “The ability to utilize telemedicine to provide earlier, more timely and more appropriate treatment allows clinicians and patients to reduce the duration and progression of the flu. Telemedicine also helps to identify those patients who are severely ill and direct them to other care settings, if needed, in an efficient and prompt manner.”

About Consult A Doctor

Consult A Doctor is the leading innovator of cloud-based telemedicine services and technology platform solutions empowering organizations to lower healthcare costs, provide revolutionary access and improve outcomes. With years of experience delivering direct-to-employer and consumer telemedicine services that offer convenient 24/7 access to doctor consultations by phone, email and video, Consult a Doctor has saved employers millions of dollars in unnecessary healthcare costs.  Its telemedicine network of U.S. board certified physicians in all 50 states has made it possible to give on-demand care, anytime, anywhere with access to medically-equivalent care in the lowest cost setting. Consult A Doctor is further transforming the economic equation of care by partnering with payers, providers and other organizations to deploy its telemedicine platform solution that grants its members and patients unmatched access to quality care, offers a new revenue source for providers, and lowers costs for health plans, employers and groups. For more information about Consult A Doctor, please visit www.consultadoctor.com, email telecare@consultadr.com or call 888-688-DOCTOR (3624).

January 19, 2012 I Written By