The role of the medical director is evolving, giving these individuals more responsibility for meeting quality-of-care metrics and leading organizational change. Evidence of this shift is found in a recent Medical Group Management Association survey, which reveals that 44 percent of responding medical directors said that their duties were tied to quality metrics.
Out of these, more than 75 percent of respondents reported their responsibilities were specifically tied to patient satisfaction and quality-of-care metrics, according to an announcement, and more than 35 percent reported ties to patient safety metrics.
Thus, the role of the medical director today requires an individual who is "tech-savvy and can make changes within the organization," MGMA member Jeffrey W. Smith, chief executive officer of Pottstown Medical Specialists Inc. in Pennsylvania, told Healthcare Finance News.
"Organizations really need someone who can sit down with physicians to obtain and explain the necessary pieces of information needed from them [in regards to quality], rather than someone just focused on the numbers," he added. "They need to be able to explain to physicians the ultimate impact these quality measures have on patients, how it affects their quality of life and brings down costs at the same time."
The MGMA Medical Directorship Compensation Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data found that medical directors' duties and compensation were also linked to metrics such as Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services core measures, compliance, patient readmissions and employee/clinician satisfaction.
"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," Susan L. Turney, MD, MGMA president and chief executive officer, said in the announcement.