MGMA survey: Emphasis on cost management, patient satisfaction keys to medical practices' success
MGMA "better-performers" demonstrate management behaviors that set them apart
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. Jan. 11, 2011— Organizations deemed "better-performing medical practices" by the Medical Group Management Association’s Performance and Practices of Successful Medical Groups: 2010 Report Based on 2009 Data excelled in four performance management categories. These categories include profitability and cost management; productivity, capacity and staffing; accounts receivable and collections; and patient satisfaction. Within these categories used to select the more than 500 "Better Performers" who responded to MGMA’s annual Cost Survey Report, better-performers demonstrated management behaviors that may be the key to their financial success. Among them are:
- Better-performing medical practices indicate they use formal patient satisfaction surveys. More than 30 percent of them benchmark results to other practices and more than 60 percent educate physicians about behavior. One better-performing practice, About Women OB/GYN, in Woodbridge, Va., implemented an online patient portal with a number of capabilities, including the ability to answer common questions, monitor patient "vitals" such as weight gain, and track medications. The portal also expedites prescription refills and renewals and allows patients to validate information prior to visits, saving the staff valuable time.
"An eight-hour day can be a stressful eight hours or it can be an enjoyable eight hours," says About Women OB/GYN Practice Administrator Yolanda Raffert, MHA, CPC. "So the stress level and the lifestyle enjoyment … have obviously improved with the portal itself."
Profitability and cost management
- With the exception of multispecialty practices, better-performing practices spent more on information technology operating expenses than their counterparts. They also reported less bad debt to fee-for-service (FSS) activity per full-time-equivalent (FTE) physician.
Productivity, capacity and staffing
- The majority of better-performing practices report lower total operating costs as a percentage of total medical revenue and consistently noted more procedures per FTE physician. For example, better-performing cardiology practices conducted 39.8 percent more procedures and orthopedic practices reported 67.9 percent more procedures per FTE physician than practices not considered better-performing.
Accounts receivable (A/R) and collections
- Better-performing practices have a lower percentage of their total A/R in the 120-plus-day category than their counterparts, indicating that strong cash flow is crucial to the success of any practice.
The report also details how more than 10 percentage points separate better-performers from their peers myriad other categories.
The MGMA report, a benchmarking standard among medical groups for more than a decade, was produced using data from 544 better performing-practices that responded to the MGMA 2010 Cost Survey, as well as a supplemental questionnaire that assessed practices and procedures. The report features success stories of better-performers and how they tackled issues such as meshing data and technology to maximize collections, unifying their practice with customer service initiatives, and empowering physicians and staff members to track and cut costs.
In honor of National Medical Group Practice Week, which this year celebrates excellent customer service in medical practices, MGMA will make one success story available to their members as a free download. The success story of About Women OB/GYN details the practice’s success in improving patient and physician satisfaction with a patient portal and will be available to MGMA members during the Week, Jan. 24-28.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to purchase a copy of the report.