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    COVID-19 pandemic has been a massive disruptor for medical practices, which represent 40% of the overall U.S. healthcare system; staff shortages, mental health and efficient practice operations at forefront of 2021 planning
    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (January 18, 2021) – As we embrace 2021, Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) releases a special report that identifies key learnings from the tumultuous year of 2020 and provides important priorities that medical practices should consider heading into 2021. The report, “MGMA Stat 2020 Year in Review: Through Hardships to the Stars,” is a culmination of MGMA’s national weekly polls of more than 4,800 healthcare leaders on the biggest issues and trends in medical practice management and the healthcare industry. The data included in this report chronicles the turbulence, innovation and resilience of medical practices in 2020, and provides compelling insights into the key issues and priorities for medical practices in 2021.
    “While 2020 presented unparalleled challenges, the historic year was pivotal in shaping our industry’s future, accelerating us to address and find solutions to problems we have seen and felt for decades. In this new year, medical practices will continue to be agile and innovative, and MGMA will do all we can to support and provide the necessary resources to help them recover to pre-pandemic levels,” said Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, MMM, FAAP, FACMPE, president and CEO of MGMA.

    From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MGMA Stat data reveals that the one constant in the healthcare industry is the continuation of the vast pace of change in 2020. The top five biggest changes for healthcare organizations were related to staffing, cost and revenue, practice transformation, technology and operations.
    Priorities for medical practices this year include:
    • Managing staff shortages and mental health will be a priorities in 2021. From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of frontline workers in medical practices and hospitals has been crucial. As early as mid-March 2020, practice leaders reported staff shortages amid the spread of coronavirus.
      • 40% reported a staff shortage amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
      • 53% addressed the mental health of staff amid COVID-19.
    • Telemedicine and other technologies continue to play a vital role in everyday practice operations and long-term planning.
      • 97% reported their practice has expanded telehealth service.
      • Health IT capabilities will be part of the conversation around what technologies to consider heading into 2021 such as integrating remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices.
      • Most practices have not taken the next steps to make RPM happen within their practices with only 21% currently offering RPM.
    • Savvy practices are changing the measurement of key metrics both in terms of what is being measured and how often it is being measured.
      • 1 in 3 healthcare leaders are changing what they measure and how often they measure key metrics -- measuring data in weeks instead of months to monitor for drops in revenue and forecasting the resulting change in collections.
    • With fewer nonclinical staff members in a facility and the adoption of new procedures and protocols to mitigate potential coronavirus exposure, medical practice leaders may be a need to reassess space needs this year.
      • 12% reported planning to reduce their physical space in the coming months.
      • Practices should consider repurposing office space or consider finding a better fit for new real estate needs.
    • Promoting staff morale in 2021 will be instrumental.
      • Efforts to restore bonuses can be helpful to promote staff morale in 2021, as social gatherings will remain tricky due to continued social distancing and mask wearing.

    About MGMA
    Founded in 1926, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is the nation’s largest association focused on the business of medical practice management. MGMA consists of 15,000 group medical practices ranging from small private medical practices to large national health systems representing more than 350,000 physicians. MGMA helps nearly 60,000 medical practice leaders and the healthcare community solve the business challenges of running practices so that they can focus on providing outstanding patient care. Specifically, MGMA helps its members innovate and improve profitability and financial sustainability, and it provides the gold standard on industry benchmarks such as physician compensation. The association also advocates extensively on its members’ behalf on national regulatory and policy issues. To learn more, go to or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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