Online Tools

July 11, 2008

Is your practice in the red?

Is your practice in the red?

You’ll be able to find out with the Medical Group Management Association’s new online tool, designed to help practices gauge their costs and physician compensation compared to national averages. (You can check it out here: www.mgmadashboards.com.)

To calculate how their practice costs compare, practice managers can enter their accounts receivable, medical revenue, support staff, and operating costs per physician. For compensation, the manager inputs figures on collections, gross charges, ambulatory encounters, surgery/anesthesia cases, and work RVUs.

Like a traffic light, the dashboards use red, yellow, and green visual scores based on your data. Red indicates your costs and compensation are below average for your specialty (i.e., you’re spending too much or not taking in enough for your production levels), yellow means costs are average, and green means spending and compensation are better than the average practice. There is also a numerical score of 0 (bad) to 100 (excellent).

Other than the financial numbers, the tool asks for your type of practice, but does not require other identifiable information.

“Smaller and mid-sized medical groups have been telling us for a long time that they need a quick and easy way to gauge physician and practice performance so that they can better focus their energy toward improvement,” Mick Kasher, MGMA director of survey operations, said in a press release. “We are helping group practices figure out the issues they need to address to survive and prosper in today’s difficult medical economic environment.”

The tool is meant to provide only a “50,000-foot overview” and does not take into account practice size, geography, or other key demographic figures, says David Fein, CEO of ValuSource, the software developer that designed the tool with the MGMA.

“This is not meant as a complete diagnostic tool,” he says. “But there is some statistical validity and accuracy to the data.”