New education program to help docs manage their practices

Medical education

Physicians don’t have to go back to school for help with the business and regulatory challenges of running a medical practice.

There’s now a new online education program that offers free courses for physicians. Medscape, a subsidiary of WebMD, has launched its Physician Business Academy, according to a company announcement. It currently offers eight courses to help doctors to leverage electronic health records (EHR), navigate legal issues, get reimbursed for services and manage a successful practice. The courses are geared to employed and self-employed physicians and residents.

The courses, expected to take 90 minutes to 2 hours to complete, go beyond simply providing information to offer physicians solutions and strategies, according to the announcement. For instance, a course on reimbursement can help doctors to more effectively tackle the new requirements under the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

“Physicians leave medical school, residency and fellowship prepared to treat patients. However, with the advent of a digital practice environment, EHRs and the combination of new and complex payment criteria and reporting requirements, physicians are unprepared for the business demands of their medical practice,” Leslie Kane, senior director of Medscape’s Business of Medicine, said in the announcement. “The mounting pressure of these bureaucratic responsibilities are daunting and frustrating, and they are prompting physicians to consider leaving medicine.”    

A Medscape survey of 1,680 physicians found that 88 percent report they are unprepared and unskilled when it comes to business aspects of medicine and 85% wished they had taken courses to help fill the gap.

As FiercePracticeManagement has reported medical students are increasingly taking the time to learn about business before they go into practice, even though many employed physicians would still prefer to practice medicine without worrying about the mechanics of running a practice.