July 25, 2018 – , Managing Editor
Evidence continues to mount that non-physician providers can positively contribute to a medical practice’s vitality, both in terms of care and the bottom line. New data from the Medical Group Management Association found that medical practices that use more non-physician providers see a boost in both revenue and productivity.
Based on comparative data from more than 3,000 organizations, the 2018 MGMA DataDive cost and revenue data represents various practice types including physician and hospital-owned, as well as small and large practices.
Primary care practices with 0.41 NPPs per physician or more did report greater expenses, but they also reported earning more revenue after operating costs than practices with fewer NPPs (0.20 or fewer NPPs per physician), no matter the specialty. Practices with 0.41 or more NPPs reported $100,748 more in revenue after operating expenses per physician and in hospital-owned primary care practices, the difference was $131,770 more in revenue per physician after operating costs.
“Because these non-physician providers can effectively complement primary care services for the organization, access to care increases. Ultimately, both the number of patient encounters as well as their satisfaction can increase,” said Ken Hertz, principal consultant at MGMA.
The DataDive results showed that over the past five years, median operating costs for primary care practices had gone from $391,798 per physician to $441,559 per physician, a rise of 13 percent. Evergreen expenses are a steady presence, such as general operating costs, which make up 32 cents of every dollar collected in physician-owned practices. IT represents 2 cents, drug supply 6 cents, and building occupancy 6 cents.