According to a new report from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) titled “Performance and Practices of Successful Medical Groups: 2012 Report Based on 2011 Data,” top-tier medical practices excelled in four categories:
- profitability and cost management;
- productivity, capacity and staffing;
- account receivable and collections; and
- patient satisfaction.
The best performers in the study reported almost $150,000 more in total medical revenue per full-time equivalent physician than their peers, with a median of $814,944 compared with $666,634. Those profitable practices say their efforts to optimize back-end business processes and collections was a key to their success. High-performing practices also say they lowered their total operating cost as a percentage of their total medical revenue at a median of almost 54% compared with the nearly 64% in other practices.
Peter Valenzuela, MD, MBA, medical director of PeaceHealth Medical Group—one of the high-performing practices—says his group began a cost-saving initiative to ensure that staff tasks were appropriate to licensure and to improve patient flow. Patient visit times were reduced by 23 minutes, with trims coming mainly from waiting room times and time spent during “handoffs” between providers and office staff.
Collecting money more quickly is imperative, notes the MGMA in its study. The report pointed to Consultants in Gastroenterology, where Chief Executive Officer Jean A. Hansen, MBA, FACMPE, changed the group’s reporting strategy to a format compatible with MGMA survey methodology, enabling it to measure the group’s progress against what some consider to be “the gold standard in medical practice.” The practice reported a nearly 100% net collection ratio this year alone and 78.96% collection of its accounts receivable in the current aging category.
Also, practices identified as higher performing in the report say they poll patients on their satisfaction and use those results to communicate with physicians and staff about their behavior. They routinely evaluate their operations to find room for improvement and benchmark against other practices. The patient surveys focus on appointment availability, overall experience, and quality of care.
See a full copy of the new MGMA report here.