FAQs: Data calculations and glossary

Do you report base compensation or total compensation in the Physician Compensation and Production Survey Report?

We report total compensation.


 

What is included in total compensation?

Total compensation is defined as the direct compensation amount individually reported on a W2, 1099 or K1 tax form, plus all voluntary salary reductions [401(k), 403(b), section 125 tax savings plan contributions].

Total compensation includes:

  • Salary
  • Bonus
  • Incentive payments
  • Research stipends
  • Honoraria and distribution of profits

Total compensation does not include: 

  • Expense reimbursements
  • Fringe benefits paid by the practice (retirement plan, life and health insurance, automobile allowances)
  • Any employer contributions to a 401(k), 403(b) or Keogh plan

 

What is the difference between the mean and median? Which one should I use to benchmark?

The mean and the median are both measures of central tendency in statistical research, meaning the numbers tend to cluster around the middle of the data set. The median is the 50th percentile rank, or the middlemost point of data, whereas the mean is the average of all the numbers in the set.

We strongly encourage benchmarking against the median because, as a single point of data, it is not subject to the distortion that can occur when all the numbers – sometimes including outliers (extremely high and low values) – are averaged to calculate the mean.
So you can better understand the distribution of the data, we include the 10th, 25th, 75th and 90th percentiles and the standard deviation in our tables. For an even more granular look at the numbers, the DataDive modules include every percentile from the 10th to the 90th.


 

What is included in total operating cost?

Total operating costs includes the costs of:

  • Practice support staff 
  • Information technology
  • Medical and surgical supplies
  • Building and occupancy
  • Furniture and equipment
  • Administrative supplies and services
  • Professional liability insurance premiums
  • Other insurance premiums
  • Outside professional fees
  • Promotion and marketing
  • Clinical laboratory
  • Radiology and imaging
  • Other ancillary services
  • Billing and collections purchased services
  • Management fees paid to a management services organization or physician practice management company
  • Miscellaneous operating costs
  • Costs allocated to a medical practice from a parent organization

 

What is considered full-time?

A full-time physician works whatever number of hours the practice considers to be the minimum for a normal work week, whether 37.5, 40, 50 or some other standard.


 

What is the difference between full-time-equivalent (FTE) physician and FTE provider?

An FTE physician is a licensed MD or DO who is qualified to perform clinical procedures on a patient and who works whatever number of hours the practice considers to be the minimum for a normal work week.
An FTE provider may be either a physician or a nonphysician provider of medical care and billable services (audiologists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, dieticians/nutritionists, midwives and nurse practitioners, etc.) who works whatever number of hours the practice considers to be the minimum for a normal work week.
"Per FTE" indicates the percentage of time worked in a normal workweek. An FTE of 1.0 works the number of weekly hours that the practice considers a normal workweek.


 

Why don't the medians for accounts receivable (A/R) or staffing add up to 100 percent?

The term "median" can be used synonymously with the 50th percentile rank. Each response is considered separately in the data. Therefore, a median of all numbers in one response may not directly relate to the median of another. A user of the report may believe the medians for the A/R aging categories should sum to 100 percent. By their nature, however, the sum of the medians probably will not equal 100 percent, because a practice at the median for 31 to 60 days in A/R may not be the same practice that is at the median for 61 to 90 days in A/R.

The means for A/R or staffing add up to 100 percent if two conditions exist:

  1. The respondents reported data for all categories
  2. Each response adds to 100 percent

The survey methodology always ensures that the first condition is met, but there is no failsafe for the second. 


 

What does "TC excluded" mean?

The technical component (TC) is the technical charge for the operation and use of equipment included in gross charges or revenue (collections). "TC excluded" means there is no technical component charge included in the data.


 

What does "NPP excluded" mean in productivity tables?

There is no nonphysician provider (NPP) information included in the data.


 

How are A/R and days in A/R calculated?

Download this file for MGMA calculation definitionsAdobe PDF  


 

What are the count and standard deviation columns?

The count represents the number of responses received.

In layperson's terms, the standard deviation is how spread-out or scattered the responses are from the mean.

In statistical terms, the standard deviation of a population is found by:

  1. Calculating the mean
  2. Finding the difference of each value from the mean (deviation)
  3. Squaring each deviation
  4. Adding the deviations together
  5. Dividing by the number of values averaged
  6. Finding the square root of the final answer to get back to the original scale of measurement.

 

What does FFS stand for?

Fee-for-service


 

What does the asterisk (*) mean in a table?

An asterisk indicates that we didn’t receive enough responses in that category to report statistically viable data.


 

What if I can’t find my specialty?

If your specialty is not listed, it's because it has not yet achieved the status of at least 10 valid write-ins from three separate practices. However, please list every physician and nonphysician provider specialty you have to help us expand our report on the growing industry. Those that are not included in the specialty list may be written in under the "Other Specialty" field.


 

Why is the gross charges amount from the Cost Survey Report so different from the gross charges reported in the Physician Compensation and Production Survey Report?

Since the Cost Survey Report uses individual practices as the units of observation, it reports gross charges generated by physician and nonphysician providers, and includes the technical component, drug charges, supply charges and facility fees. Pharmaceutical charges are excluded.

The Physician Compensation and Production Survey Report only reports professional gross charges for individual physician and nonphysician provider productivity. It does not include the technical component, drug charges, supply charges, facility fees, or pharmaceutical charges.


 

Why can't I recreate the table ratios using the related tables in the report?

This happens because the data in ratio tables is not the culled from the exact same data set as that used to generate the component tables in the report.

As an example, not all of the values reported in the compensation table and the gross charges table are used to create the compensation-to-gross charges ratio table; the ratio table is generated just from those participants who provided both components used in the equation. Data from participants who did not provide both components are excluded from the ratio table though they are included in the individual compensation and gross charges tables.


 

Why do the counts in the Total Compensation table not match the counts in the Compensation to Physician Work RVUs Ratio table?

This happens because the data in ratio tables is not the culled from the exact same data set as that used to generate the component tables in the report.

The data included in the Compensation to Physician Work RVUs ratio table is only from those practices that provided both compensation and work RVUs (and it also excludes data outliers). Total compensation is a required question in the survey, but work RVUs is not. As a result, there will always be a greater count in the Total Compensation table than the Compensation to Physician Work RVUs Ratio table.


 

Why is the compensation-to-collections ratio in the Physician Compensation and Production Survey Report greater than 1.00?

The collections data used to calculate this ratio only refers to professional collections the physician generated and doesn’t include collections attributed to technical components, such as ancillary services (i.e. lab, radiology). If those technical component items were included, the collections would be higher and there would be fewer instances of ratios greater than 1.00.


 

What is the difference between the more than 67% billable clinical activity tables and the standardized to 100% billable clinical activity tables in the Academic Compensation and Production Survey for Faculty and Management?

The more than 67% billable clinical activity tables are based on the production amounts reported by the participants, with the only stipulation that the faculty have more than 67% billable clinical activity.

The standardized to 100% billable clinical activity tables project a faculty physician’s production if they were at 100% billable clinical activity (based on the billable clinical percentage and production values reported).

As an example, if a faculty physician was producing 2,000 wRVUs at 50% billable clinical activity, it is projected that they would produce 4,000 wRVUs at 100% billable clinical activity. 

 

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