Medical Directors Increasingly Tied to Patient Satisfaction

Quality measures like patient satisfaction are an increasingly important part of medical directors' responsibilities, according to a new report.

Quality measures, specifically patient satisfaction, are an increasingly important part of medical directors’ responsibilities, according to a new report.

The Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) 2014 report Medical Directorship Compensation Survey found that 44% of medical directors’ duties are tied to quality metrics like patient satisfaction, quality of care, and patient safety. Last year, 39% of medical directors said their responsibilities were related to quality metrics.

“Physician practices and other healthcare organizations are dedicated to providing patients the best quality of care,” Susan L. Turney, MD, MS, FACP, FACMPE, MGMA president and chief executive officer said in a statement. “Incorporating quality metrics into medial directors’ duties and compensation underscores practices’ commitment to serving their communities.”

Three-quarters of respondents said their duties were specifically tied to patient satisfaction and quality-of-care metrics. Meanwhile more than 35% reported their compensation was tied to patient safety metrics.

Other quality metrics of importance include Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services core measures, compliance, patient readmissions, and staff and provider satisfaction. The healthcare industry has turned a spotlight onto readmissions, recently, as an avoidable extra cost. As for staff and provider satisfaction, the turnover rate for physicians has increased recently, leaving organizations to find new hires to fill the spaces. And while the position remains unfilled, it costs the hospital, practice, or health system money.

“In addition to being accountable to patients, it’s encouraging to see an emphasis on staff and provider satisfaction within the medical director’s scope of responsibilities,” Turney said. “MGMA believes that fostering partnerships between practice staff and clinicians will result in the highest quality patient care, and it’s evident that healthcare organizations recognize the importance of creating a high-functioning, satisfied team to better serve patients.”

MGMA’s surveys included responses from 1,621 medical directors and data from 227 medical organizations.

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