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    The Medical Group Management Association’s most recent MGMA Stat poll asked healthcare leaders: “Did you use benchmarking data in the past year to address a business issue?” In response, 82% answered “yes,” while 18% answered “no.” When asked, “In what business areas did you utilize benchmarking data?” The most popular responses included:

    • Compensation
    • Staffing
    • Finance (AR)
    • Patient access
    • Productivity

    This poll was conducted on Oct. 8, 2019, with 1,015 applicable responses.
    A recent MGMA Research & Analysis report, Benchmarking for success: Case studies in transforming data into action, took a closer look at how medical leaders solve day-to-day issues with the help of benchmarking in their practice, such as recruiting physicians and management staff, reducing patient wait time and increasing patients per day. To read the full the report, visit MGMA DataDive and click on "Exclusive Research and Insights" in the top navigation bar. 

    This is one case study from the report:

    Striking balance in management recruitment
    Michelle Shirey, MBA, CRT, FACMPE, executive director, First Physicians Group of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, Sarasota, Fla., set out to hire a clinical practice manager to manage the QPP and Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) programs for the group’s primary care practices. Shirey and her human resources team researched median total compensation data for the position from the MGMA DataDive Management and Staff Compensation, filtered for the southeastern region of the United States, and ran an online ad for the position. Weeks later, they had not received much interest in the job. Shirey and her team decided to reevaluate the total compensation offered in the job posting. Keeping in mind that it was a senior-manager-level position in Sarasota, where the cost of living was higher than many other areas of the southeastern region of the United States, they decided to expand their benchmark search in the MGMA DataDive Management and Staff Compensation to compensation on the national level. The national compensation data for a clinical practice manager was slightly higher than the southeastern region. After increasing the compensation offered in the job posting, First Physicians Group of Sarasota was able to successfully hire a well-qualified candidate for the clinical practice manager position.
    Benchmarking principles for success:

    1. If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
    2. If you don’t value it, you won’t change it.

    Keep in mind:

    1. Understand the importance of benchmarking in your practice.
    2. Clearly define the problem you want to solve.
    3. Be transparent. Clearly communicate your priorities with providers and staff. There can be a lot of misunderstanding around data and benchmarking, so be sure everyone understands the organizational goal.
    4. Spend quality time with the data. Consider the data collection process and read supporting documents that define the data points with which you’re benchmarking. Doing so will assure that you are making “apples-to-apples” comparisons and will allow you to speak to staff about the data with authority and confidence.
    5. Blend data from different sources. Pair MGMA survey data with other data sets from payers, state records and other trusted sources to clarify your findings, add confidence or drill down on a unique scenario. 

    Lessons learned
    When recruiting for a new position, Shirey understood there were many factors to consider including cost of living differences, organization ownership and size of practice. Additionally, it’s important to balance competitors’ salaries with what is sustainable for your practice. It’s okay to go back to the drawing board if it means you’ll be offering a more competitive salary. Understanding how to filter compensation data on different practice characteristics, and what characteristics make sense for your practice, will make this process much easier.
    When recruiting for a new staff or manager position, utilize the 2019 MGMA DataDive Management and Staff Compensation, which breaks out compensation benchmarking data for both staff and managers and provides you with options to filter by different practice and position characteristics, such as region, organization ownership and formal education level.
    Additional resources


    Our ability at MGMA to provide great resources, education and advocacy depends on a strong feedback loop with healthcare leaders. To be part of this effort, sign up for MGMA Stat and make your voice heard in our weekly polls. Sign up by texting “STAT” to 33550 or visit Polls will be sent to your phone via text message.

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