MGMA Survey: Physician Practices Report Increased Information Technology Costs

Press Release | MGMA-ACMPE | September 10, 2013

Englewood, Colo. Sept. 10, 2013— Information technology costs are on the rise, as physician practices adopt and optimize electronic health records (EHRs). Since 2008, medical practices' annual expenditures per full-time-equivalent (FTE) physician for information technology costs have climbed 27.8 percent, from a median of $15,211 in 2008 to a reported $19,439 in 2012, according to the MGMA Cost Survey Report: 2013 Report Based on 2012 Data.

”Implementing and optimizing information technology is a significant investment for physician practices,” said Derek Kosiorek, principal, MGMA Health Care Consulting Group. “Although an electronic health record can be costly, it’s admirable that physician practices are leveraging sophisticated tools that produce higher efficiencies and impact patient care.”

Physician practices also reported increases in median staffing costs as a result of adding business operations, clinical, and ancillary support professionals to the practice. Total business operations staff per 10,000 patients increased 8.69 percent since 2011, from 6.56 to 7.13. This indicates that physician practices and hospitals are investing in sophisticated, knowledgeable, and certified staff to manage physician services. Staff costs are also on the rise as additional personnel are hired to manage operations and contend with a complex regulatory environment. Increased staffing costs may have also been incurred as practices seek to improve their patients' experience and satisfaction with their visits beyond the time spent with the clinician.

“The patient’s experience extends far beyond the exam room,” said Kenneth T. Hertz, FACMPE, MGMA Health Care Consulting Group. “It’s important to consider how items such as scheduling availability, insurance verification and benefits determination, refill reminders, access to patient portals and other technology enhance your patients' experience. If you’re devoting resources to employing a team of professionals that can manage and make improvements on these fronts, you’re working to be more patient-centered overall.”

The MGMA Cost Survey Report: 2013 Report Based on 2012 Data features data from 2,411 groups and is the largest and most robust cost survey and benchmarking tool in the industry. The report also includes data categorized by specialty, organization ownership, and geographic section. The report also features data on staffing ratios, medical revenue, total operating costs, and accounts receivable.

The information is available on DataDive, an easy-to-use Web-based format that allows users to access and drill down data for analysis as well as a printed report.

Additional resources for physicians and medical practice professionals on benchmarking costs:
MGMA Annual Conference, Oct. 6-9, San Diego. To register to attend as a media representative, visit our website.
MGMA Health Care Consulting Group for customized practice solutions on benchmarking, productivity improvement, financial management, revenue cycle analysis, and billing and coding.
MGMA In Practice blog: A step-by-step guide to improving your billing statements

Additional cost specialty reports, including:
Cost Survey for Anesthesia and Pain Management Practices: 2013 Report Based on 2012 Data
Cost Survey for Orthopedic Practices: 2013 Report Based on 2012 Data
Cost Survey for Primary Care Practices: 2013 Report Based on 2012 Data

Note: MGMA-ACMPE surveys depend on voluntary participation and may not be representative of the industry. Readers are urged to review the entire survey report when making conclusions regarding trends or other observations.

Contact Liz Boten, media relations manager, at [email protected] to request data or information about the survey. Click here to purchase a copy of the report.

MGMA-ACMPE is the premier association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices. In 2011, members of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), and its standard-setting division, the American College of Medical Practice Executives (ACMPE), voted to merge to form a new association. Since 1926, the Association has delivered networking, professional education and resources, political advocacy and certification for medical practice professionals. The Association represents 22,500 members who lead 13,200 organizations nationwide in which some 280,000 physicians provide more than 40 percent of the healthcare services delivered in the United States.

MGMA-ACMPE’s mission is to continually improve the performance of medical group practice professionals and the organizations they represent, helping medical practices provide efficient, safe, patient-focused and affordable care. MGMA-ACMPE is headquartered in Englewood, Colo., and maintains a government affairs office in Washington, D.C. Please visit