MGMA: Practice costs rising faster than revenue

Given reimbursement trends, the following data isn't that surprising, but it isn't exactly a happy story either.  A study released at the Medical Group Management Association's annual meeting yesterday issued just such a reminder, noting that operating costs rose faster than revenue in many group practices during 2006.

While most FierceHealthcare readers are aware that primary care physicians are facing huge challenges, they might be surprised to learn that many specialty groups are under pressure too. For example, OB/GYN groups saw a 7.1 percent rise in expenses, while revenue per full-time equivalent (FTE) physician rose only 2.3 percent. Cardiology practices saw a 0.7 percent decrease in median total medical revenue, while total operating costs rose 3 percent. Family practices actually faced less of a problem with revenue down .65 percent and costs up 2.1 percent.

Interestingly, pediatrics practices saw revenue rise 15.8 percent in revenue, while costs climbed only 10 percent. (Definitely worth watching pediatrics stats to find out whether this trend holds up-after all, it's not like health plans are showering wealth on pediatricians.)

To get more study data:
- read this MGMA press release

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