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MGMA announces research on what creates a leading and profitable medical practice

Press Release - October 8, 2017

Industry-leading data offers benchmarks and best practices for U.S. medical groups seeking optimal practice performance.

Englewood, Colo. — Oct. 9, 2017—Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) announced availability of its 2017 MGMA DataDive Better Performers data today, a report providing insights into the overall health of U.S. medical practices as well as a benchmark for practices to understand their areas for practice improvement across four key criteria: operations, profitability, productivity and value.

Based on the most recent MGMA data analysis, attributes that contribute to better performance in medical practices include:

  • Achieving higher revenues while controlling operating expenses
  • Monitoring IT expenditures
  • Achieving greater physician productivity
  • Increasing patient portal usage
  • Overall effectiveness in faster patient scheduling, same-day appointment availability and minimizing no-shows and cancellations

“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 Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, MMM, FAAP, CMPE, President and Chief Executive Officer at MGMA. “TheBetter Performers data set provides an invaluable benchmark for practices seeking their own insights about where their opportunities for stronger performance reside.”

Key Research Findings:

  • INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Better performing practices in physician-owned practices report spending less in information technology expenses per FTE physician than all reporting practices, while their hospital-owned counterparts report spending more. One key example is physician-owned primary care specialties which spend $3,685 less on IT expenses per FTE physician, in comparison to $1,216 more in hospital-owned best practices.   
  • EXPENSES & REVENUE: Across the board, better performing practices report spending less on operating expenses when compared to all reporting practices. With lower expenses, these same better performing practices also report earning more in total medical revenue after operating cost.  

Total Medical Revenue after Operating Cost per FTE Physician
Monetary Difference Between Better-Performing Practices and All Practices

  Physician Owned Hospital/IDS Owned
Multispecialty $44,553 $18,344
Primary Care Specialties $149,012 $60,266
Nonsurgical Specialties $61,826 $134,337
Surgical Specialties $25,902 $72,920


  • PROVIDER PRODUCTIVITY: Overall, physicians in most better performing practices report higher productivity when compared to all reporting practices. Many also report earning more in total compensation. 

Difference Between Better-Performing Practices and All Practices

  Total Compensation Work RVUs
Cardiology: Noninvasive 5.69% 1.68%
Family Medicine (without OB) 11.34% 7.94%
Internal Medicine: General 15.77% 11.40%
Orthopedic Surgery: General 0.37% 14.59%
Surgery: General 9.79% 12.39%


  • PRACTICE OPERATIONS: Better performing practices report slightly higher patient adoption rates for patient portal usage when compared to all reporting practices. Better performing primary care practices also report more favorable appointment scheduling measures when compared to all reporting practices. The better performing primary care practices were found to offer:
    • Fewer minutes waiting to schedule an appointment
    • A higher percentage of total appointments that were same-day 
    • A slightly lower no-show rate
    • A lower appointment cancellation rate

MGMA will announce and acknowledge those practices deemed Better Performers on Oct. 16, 2017. In addition, the MGMA 2018 Excellence in Practice Operations Conference, to be held April 22-24, 2018, will highlight case studies and learning opportunities from groups that have been deemed Better Performers in areas such as improving operations, maximizing productivity and profitability, and leading high-performance teams.  The event will translate the Better Performers data into the action steps needed to optimize practice performance.

The 2017 Better Performers data is available within the DataDive platform for MGMA members that have purchased either the 2017 DataDive Physician Compensation or the 2017 DataDive Cost and Revenue data sets.

About the Data:
The 2017 MGMA DataDive Better Performers was evaluated amongst 2,941 groups – with 676 of those groups being deemed a better performer in at least one of four categories and only 32 of the groups achieving the final designation in three  or four criteria categories of operations, profitability, productivity and value.

MGMA’s Better Performers designation is a significant achievement for a medical group. The 2017 data set shows that within each of the four categories, only 7-10% of participating medical groups met or surpassed the Better Performers applied criteria.

In order to meaningfully determine better performing practices in the ever-changing field of healthcare, new evaluation metrics were introduced beginning with the 2017 MGMA surveys. The revised criteria detail can be found here. New with the 2017 dataset, better-performers data is reported across multiple MGMA surveys including the Practice Operations Survey, Cost and Revenue Survey, Management and Staff Compensation Survey, and Physician Compensation and Production Survey. Participation in multiple MGMA surveys was required in order to be considered for better-performer status. MGMA Better Performers data was first created in 1999. 


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