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    David N. Gans
    David N. Gans, MSHA, FACMPE
    Inflation treadmill

    National polls identify inflation and the affordability of healthcare as the primary problems facing the country today, with 62% of Americans citing inflation as a significant issue and 60% expressing the same concern about healthcare costs.1 While the American public struggles with the general cost of living, medical group practices face an even greater challenge due to inflationary increases in staff costs and operational expenses.

    A recent Data Mine article2 described the substantial rise in operating expenses for medical groups compared to the overall rate of inflation and, despite higher costs, practices have limited ability to increase the payments they receive for providing health care services. Subsequent articles addressed how physicians and medical practice leaders are confronting inflation by managing costs and improving productivity.3,4

    While medical groups struggle with rising costs, physicians are similarly affected as to whether their income will keep pace with the rising cost of living. MGMA conducts annual nationwide surveys of medical groups using consistent survey methodology, allowing for the analysis of long-term trends in physician compensation and productivity.

    Examining the past 20 years of survey data from the MGMA DataDive Provider Compensation confirms that doctors are struggling. While physician compensation is increasing year to year, it has come at the result of increased production. While some specialties have benefited from technology and can perform more complex procedures, other specialties are struggling to boost productivity.

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    David N. Gans

    Written By

    David N. Gans, MSHA, FACMPE

    David Gans, MSHA, FACMPE, is a national authority on medical practice operations and health systems for the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), the national association for medical practice leaders. He is an educational speaker, authors a regular Data Mine column in MGMA Connection magazine and is a resource on all areas of medical group practice management for association members. Mr. Gans retired from the United States Army Reserve in the grade of Colonel, is a Certified Medical Practice Executive and a Fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives.

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