Blog | Wednesday, September 29, 2010

QD: News Every Day--Physician-owners focused on revenue, system-owners on efficiency


Physician-owned medical groups reported a slight increase in total relative value units (RVUs) per patient (0.09%) and a nearly 13% increase in work RVUs per patient, while hospital/integrated delivery system-owned practices reported a slight decrease in total RVUs per patient (0.55%) and a 17.85% decrease in work RVUs per patient.

The Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) "Cost Survey for Multispecialty Practices: 2010 Report Based on 2009 Data" highlights other differences.

In practices not owned by hospitals or integrated delivery systems:
--Operating costs per full-time-equivalent (FTE) physician increased by nearly 2% since last year;
--Total medical revenue after operating cost per FTE physician decreased slightly (0.16%) since last year;
--Staff and provider costs in 2009 (including support staff, non-physician providers and physicians) comprised 76.06% of total costs; and
--The number of patients per provider has decreased nearly 9% in the past five years.
Chart provided by MGMAPrivate practices are likely affected by purchasing an electronic health record, said an MGMA analyst. EHR-buying incentives spurred purchases, which were reflected in the bottom line.

In practices owned by hospitals or integrated delivery systems:
--Operating costs per FTE physicians decreased by 0.37% from 2008 to 2009;
--After operating costs, total medical revenue per FTE physician increased by 2.4% for the same time period;
--Staff and provider costs in 2009 (including support staff, non-physician providers and physicians) made up nearly 89% of total costs; and
--Groups reported about a 9% increase in patients seen per provider in the past five years.

Chart provided by MGMAAgain, EHRs played a role, but this time they had a bigger impact in reducing costs and administration when deployed in a larger system, the analyst noted.

The survey reflects data from 45,000 providers, an increase of 8% over last year. Still, MGMA noted that participation is voluntary and may not be representative of the industry.