What Makes a Medical Practice Profitable?

Sandra Levy


October 12, 2017

Patient Services Are More Efficient

Better-performing practices showed slightly higher patient adoption rates for patient portal usage. They also rated higher on appointment scheduling measures.

In addition, the better-performing practices had shorter waits to schedule an appointment, a higher percentage of same-day appointments, a slightly lower no-show rate, and a lower appointment cancellation rate.

Gans said that although the patient portal may not necessarily affect practice revenue, in the current IT environment, patient portal use is not only consistent with Meaningful Use criteria but it also enhances the patient experience.

"We're trying to assess practices for how they can enhance the patient experience," said Gans. "Practices that enhance the patient experience and which have financial success are doing the right things because financial success yields sustainability."

Almost 3000 practices participated in MGMA's cost survey, and about 20% (676) were deemed better performers in at least one of the four categories. Only 32 met MGMA's designation in three out of four categories. The dataset shows that within each of the four categories, only 7%-10% of participating medical groups met or surpassed the criteria.

Gans concluded, "When you are doing the right things, you get the right results. We found that practices that have higher expenses often have much higher revenue because of their ROI in capital and human resources, helping doctors to be more productive, and technologies. There's a return that goes back to the practice in well-managed practices."


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