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    The Medical Group Management Association’s most recent MGMA Stat poll asked healthcare leaders if they use benchmarking data to improve practice operations. The majority of respondents (84%) said yes, while only 14% said they don't use it to make improvements. The remaining 2% were unsure. This poll was conducted on March 19, 2019, with 1,287 applicable responses. 

    Respondents who answered “yes” were asked a follow-up question, “In what areas does your organization use benchmarking?” The most frequently cited benchmarks include:

    • Productivity, including RVUs and encounters
    • Financials, including cost and revenue cycle management
    • Human resources and staffing ratios

    Organizations that have already employed benchmarking strategies should take a deeper dive, as they may be underutilizing benchmarking data and missing out on valuable insights. Kenneth T. Hertz, FACMPE, principal, MGMA Consulting, warns against benchmarking to the median and asks, "Why would anyone want to be average in their approach or performance?" According to Hertz, there are several important questions organizations should consider when benchmarking:

    • What questions should benchmarking answer?
    • Can current performance be compared to a prior period or industry data?
    • What should benchmarking data show the practice?
    • What practice behavior(s) should be modified?
    • What process(es) needs to be improved?

    Hertz encourages practices to consider such factors as overhead expenses and cost per visit in comparison to high-performing practices. The practice's work relative value unit (wRVU), production per full-time-equivalent (FTE) provider and cost per wRVU should be thoroughly cross-examined.

    Additional resources:

    • MGMA DataDive — An online-based platform with thousands of metrics allowing you to see where your organization is succeeding and where it needs to improve. No matter your organization's size, MGMA DataDive's benchmarks and filters offer comparisons to regional and national competitors' key performance indicators (KPIs) such as provider/staff compensation, operations, costs and revenue.

    MGMA Stat is a national poll that addresses practice management issues, the impact of new legislation and related topics. Participation is open to all healthcare leaders. See results of other polls and information on how to participate in MGMA Stat.

    Sarah Gray
    Project Analyst
    MGMA Research

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