Healthcare isn’t getting any more simple. Driven by an ever-changing regulatory environment, increased utilization of EMRs, and increasingly complex pricing models, the administrative burden associated with these new realities is straining physicians and physician groups. As a result, more and more are turning to Physician Practice Management (PPM) platforms to help them run their clinics – relieving some of the administrative burden and freeing up physicians to provide even better care while fueling market tailwinds for both PPM companies and healthcare investors alike.
Physician Burnout: The Unfortunate Reality of a Complex Healthcare System
As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, resulting from both market and regulatory pressures, the unfortunate reality is that physicians are being pulled away from their patients to complete required and important administrative tasks, like charting, paperwork, and other back-office tasks. A 2020 survey conducted by Medscape
reported that 55% of physicians report there are too many bureaucratic tasks involved in their day-to-day responsibilities.
As a result, we are seeing an increasing incidence of physician burnout – with the leading cause resulting from those very same administrative burdens. In fact, physician burnout is at an all-time high with up to 42% of physicians reporting signs of burnout
. This sentiment is even worse for certain specialties, with 54% of urologists reporting signs of burnout, the highest for any sub-specialty that was surveyed.
PPM Solutions: Relieving Burden and Enabling Physicians
Fortunately, investors and operating executives have recognized these pain points and are responding with PPM solutions that provide numerous financial, professional, and administrative support functions to practicing physicians - all of which help physicians reduce operational stress and focus on caring for patients. A recent TripleTree Market Insights LIVE
panel discussion discussed how PPM companies are improving the healthcare system for both physicians and patients. While the capabilities may vary from company to company, PPM solutions generally provide the following types of functions and benefits:
Strong Market Interest in PPM
- Financial management and operations
- Core administrative functions
- Information technology support
- Marketing, branding, and patient acquisition
- Real estate planning and management
- Payer contracting support
Physician demand for PPM solutions has driven the level of M&A activity, with both private equity firms and strategic acquirers seeking to invest in or acquire proven solutions. This activity has been further accelerated by on-going consolidation resulting from fragmented provider markets. Other forces driving deal activity include:
- An aging physician population, fueling physician group consolidation in many specialties
- Increasing gap between availability of care and demand for services – requiring new business models
- Changing physician preferences, with a desire for better work/life balance
- Shift towards larger physician practices with fewer solo and small group practices
TripleTree believes the future is bright for PPM solutions with continued M&A activity resulting from on-going physician demand, increasing operational complexity requiring more sophisticated solutions, continued consolidation across the PPM sector, and shifting physician group dynamics that will fuel additional demand. We look forward to monitoring the activity across this sector in the months ahead and engaging with the companies shaping the next generation of successful PPM companies.