MGMA 2017: 4 medical practice performance factors

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High-performing practices have some factors in common.

ANAHEIM, California—Profitable, high-performing medical practices have some factors in common, research from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) has found.

Each year, the MGMA recognizes a number of high-performing practices. This year they had to score highly on four key criteria: operations, profitability, productivity and value, Michelle Mattingly, data solutions manager at the MGMA, said at a press conference yesterday at the group's annual conference in Anaheim, California.

This year, only 32 of more than 2,900 groups achieved a better performer designation in three or four of the categories.

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So what are some of the factors that set those practices apart? The MGMA cited the following:

Control of information technology expenses. Physician-owned practices report spending less on IT expenses per full-time physician than other practices, while their hospital-owned counterparts report spending more. 

Todd Evenson, chief operating officer at MGMA, said physician-owned practices are strategic in their purchases, looking for products that can provide an immediate solution.

Achieve higher revenues while controlling operating expenses. Better performing practices report spending less on operating expenses when compared to others. With lower expenses, they report earning more in total medical revenue after operating costs.

Achieve greater physician productivity. Physicians in better performing practices report higher productivity, and many also report earning more in total compensation.

Implement better practice operations. Better performing practices report slightly higher rates for patients using their patient portal. They also report favorable appointment scheduling. Those practices offer fewer minutes waiting to schedule an appointment, a higher percentage of total appointments that were available the same day, a slightly slower no-show rate and a lower appointment cancellation rate.

“Medical practice leaders grapple with a growing number of factors that can impact performance, so understanding the levers that are in the practice’s control is critical,” said Halee Fischer-Wright, M.D., president and CEO at MGMA, in a release.