MGMA survey: Better-performing medical practices focus on cost management, productivity, and patient satisfaction

MGMA "better-performers" demonstrate management behaviors that set them apart 

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. Jan. 24, 2012— Organizations deemed "better-performing medical practices" by the MGMA Performance and Practices of Successful Medical Groups: 2011 Report Based on 2010 Data excelled in four performance management categories: 

 • Profitability and cost management
• Productivity, capacity and staffing
• Accounts receivable and collections
• Patient satisfaction

The 549 better-performers in these areas were culled from  respondents to the MGMA annual Cost Survey. High performing practices demonstrated management behaviors that may be the key to their success.

Profitability and cost management
In this area, better-performing medical practices reported less bad debt due to fee-for-service (FFS) activity per full-time-equivalent (FTE) physician. These groups reported approximately $6,900 to $14,000 less in bad debt than other practices.

Accounts receivable and collections
High-performing  groups in this category reported collecting their receivables more quickly than their peers. They had only 7 to 10 percent of their Total accounts receivable (A/R) in the 120+ days category. In contrast, the other groups had 19 to 35 percent of their total A/R in the 120+ day category, indicating that strong cash flow is crucial to the success of any practice. Additionally, 50 percent of better-performers reported collecting 90-100 percent of copayments at the time of service.

Productivity, capacity, and staffing
Better-performing practices in this area implemented operational efficiencies to ensure strong provider productivity, including employing nonphysician providers such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners and certified nurse anesthetists (62.75 percent); as well asensuring efficient patient flow through the practice (69.28 percent). Better-performers also reported higher support staff and ancillary support staff costs per FTE physician, ensuring optimal staffing to leverage physician time.

Patient satisfaction
Groups that excelled in this category indicated that they use formal patient satisfaction surveys in which more than half requested feedback on appointment availability (59.15 percent), professionalism of the staff (57.84 percent), wait times (56.54 percent), and patients' overall experience (60.46 percent). More than 60 percent used patient satisfaction surveys to evaluate and improve practice operations, and more than 55 percent educated physicians and staff about behavior based on survey results.

“Looking closely at medical practices that comprise the ‘better-performers’ group, you notice a pattern,” explained Susan Turney, MD, MS, FACP, FACMPE, MGMA president and CEO. “It is important for physicians and staff to communicate well and focus on the needs of their patients.  Being a successful medical practice is a process of having the right people with the right training doing the right things at the right time.”

Note: MGMA surveys depend on voluntary participation and may not be representative of the industry. Readers are urged to review the entire survey report when making conclusions regarding trends or other observations.

Editorial copies of the report are available to qualifying media. Contact Liz Boten, media relations representative, at  lboten@mgma.com. Click here to purchase a copy of the report.

About MGMA
MGMA is the premier association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices. In 2011, members of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), and its standard-setting division, the American College of Medical Practice Executives (ACMPE) voted to merge to form a new association. Since 1926, the association has delivered networking, professional education and resources, political advocacy and certification for medical practice professionals. The association represents 22,500 members who lead 13,200 organizations nationwide in which some 280,000 physicians provide more than 40 percent of the healthcare services delivered in the United States.

MGMA’s mission is to continually improve the performance of medical group practice professionals and the organizations they represent, helping medical practices provide efficient, safe, patient-focused and affordable care. MGMA is headquartered in Englewood, Colo., and maintains a government affairs office in Washington, D.C. Please visit  mgma.com.

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