Better-performing practices use benchmarking and patient surveys, study finds

January 19, 2011

According to a recent report from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), better-performing medical practices use formal surveys to gauge patients? satisfaction with their practices. More than 30% of these practices benchmark the results to other practices, and more than 60% educate physicians about behavior. In addition, better-performing practices spend more on information technology operating expenses and reported less bad debt to fee-for-service activity per full-time-equivalent (FTE) physician.

 

According to a recent report from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), better-performing medical practices use formal surveys to gauge patients’ satisfaction with their practices. More than 30% of these practices benchmark the results to other practices, and more than 60% educate physicians about behavior. In addition, better-performing practices spend more on information technology operating expenses and reported less bad debt to fee-for-service activity per full-time-equivalent (FTE) physician.

Better-performing practices also reported lower total operating costs of total medical revenues, and they noted more procedures per FTE physician. The average differences in procedure volume between better-performing cardiology and orthopedic practices compared with lesser-performing practices were 39.8% and 67.9%, respectively.

In addition, financial success is not possible without receiving money that is owed. The better-performing practices demonstrated a commitment to collecting bills, demonstrated by fewer 120-plus-day accounts in their accounts receivable.

The report, Performance and Practices of Successful Medical Groups: 2010 Report Based on 2009 Data, outlines “better-performing medical practices” based on four practice management categories: profitability and cost management; productivity, capacity, and staffing; accounts receivable and collections; and patient satisfaction. These categories are used to select “Better Performers” and show shared tactics for excellence within each of the categories.

The MGMA report has been considered a benchmarking standard among medical groups for more than a decade. The 544 better-performing practices responded to the MGMA 2010 Cost Survey and a supplemental questionnaire that assessed practices and procedures. The report includes success stories about how better-performers tackled specific issues, such as meshing data and technology. In honor of National Medical Group Practice Week, MGMA will make one success story available to members as a free download January 24 to 28.