Why Small Medical Offices Are Switching to Managed IT Services

By outsourcing IT to the experts, solo and independent practices find a cure for their most pressing practice management pain points.

U.S. healthcare providers are optimistic about technology, at least according to one recent survey. Findings from Bain & Co. and KLAS Research indicate that 80% of healthcare IT leaders plan to invest resources in technology this year, citing emerging technologies, labor shortages and cost pressures to justify the spending.

But for small practices, investing in the various hardware, software, staff, and expertise to realize the promise of technology isn’t so simple.

Here’s just one example to illustrate the problem they face: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expect healthcare practice expenses to rise by 4.6% this year. In January, legislators approved CMS’s proposed decrease in Medicare reimbursement for physician services by 3.4%.

Talk about getting squeezed.

And let’s face it: It’s just the latest in a long and growing list of pressures small healthcare offices across the country face. Like their larger peers, they also face physician burnout, rising labor costs and the growing threat of cyberattacks. They just don’t have the IT budgets to deal with them as effectively.

It’s no wonder many healthcare practices are turning to managed IT service providers (MSPs). It’s a smart way for them to level the IT playing field, holding the line on costs while enhancing clinician, staff and patient experiences.

A Modern Approach to Managing Healthcare IT

The old days of having an “IT guy” in the office when you needed a computer set up or your password reset have gone the way of the dial-up modem. Technological complexity has increased exponentially – and so has the cost of attracting and retaining the talent offices need to maintain it.

With an MSP as technology partner, practice managers essentially have an entire IT department on speed dial, without the hassle and overhead expense of hiring an in-house team. With an MSP, they get peace of mind knowing that experts are always there to keep your digital operations secure, updated and optimized.

Here are some of the more common reasons an increasing number of small providers are relying on MSPs:

To enhance cybersecurity: MSPs implement robust cybersecurity measures tailored to the unique needs of healthcare providers, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems and encryption. Last year was the worst recorded for cyberattacks, with over 124 million health records breached in 725 hacking incidents, according to the HIPAA Journal. Small practices are increasingly juicy targets for scammers because they lack a sophisticated cyber defense. By working with an MSP, they get the expertise they need to keep pace with the threats.

To improve regulatory compliance: Healthcare regulations such as HIPAA are complex and constantly evolving – and regulators are not shy about imposing fines for non-compliance. MSPs stay abreast of the latest regulatory changes and ensure that a practice’s IT systems are compliant. This includes managing patient data securely, conducting risk assessments and implementing policies and procedures that meet regulatory standards. MSPs can also provide documentation and support during audits, reducing the risk of non-compliance penalties.

To create happier (and more productive) workplaces: Apart from providing IT staff or augmenting your existing IT team, MSPs can help address broader labor concerns by implementing technologies that make it easier to get the job done. Whether helping choose a HIPAA-compliant EHR system or launching an automated patient reminder system, MSPs can help offices eliminate specialized and repetitive (and time-consuming!) tasks.

MSPs operate on a subscription-based model to provide more predictable IT spending, offering a range of services for a fixed monthly fee. This approach allows small practices to budget more effectively, avoiding surprises and spreading costs over time. Additionally, MSPs can provide scalable solutions that grow with the practice, ensuring that practices only pay for the services and resources they need.

To give patients what they want: Whether it’s receiving simple automated reminders about their upcoming appointment (which helps you reduce no-shows), having an app with their account history or being able to conduct a secure telehealth visit, today’s patients increasingly expect digital convenience. And MSPs help make sure you deliver it.

But whatever problem your office wants to solve through technology, make sure you’re working with a provider who understands your needs, takes the time to assess your current capabilities and can create a comprehensive care plan designed just for your office.

CONTACT US: With years of experience addressing the technology needs of healthcare organizations, let Vertikal6 help the office get more done. Contact us for a free IT assessment.

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