Practice Management: Money Talks

MAY 06, 2011
Chris Cole
Selecting a Practice Management System
With the upcoming transition to ICD-10-CM and the 5010 version of the HIPAA electronic standard transactions, as well as the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive program, the AMA and MGMA recently collaborated to create a toolkit that aims to make the requirement to significantly upgrade or replace one’s current practice management system (PMS) software less daunting (http://HCP.LV/jAOgei).
 
The toolkit provides access to a “roadmap to make it easier for your practice to select and purchase the most appropriate PMS software for your practice. You can use this information to establish your practice’s organizational needs and take advantage of recent improvements in automation.”
 
Included in the toolkit are:
  • Directory of searchable information on vendors and their products
  • Five-step guide to optimize the selection of PMS software
  • Comprehensive checklist of software features and functionalities
  • Sample request for proposal
  • Vendor request for proposal functionality response
  • Survey to distribute to the vendors whose products are of interest to you
Related resources and tools available from the AMA at the Web page for the toolkit cover clearinghouses, data ownership issues for physician practices, questions to ask before signing an EHR agreement, HIPAA standard transactions, benefits of electronic claims submissions, IT solutions, and how to select a billing software vendor.
 
Compensation
Results from the MGMA’s latest Medical Directorship and On-call Compensation Survey: 2011 Report Based on 2010 Data (http://HCP.LV/iet0hX) show that providers who say they receive on-call compensation are more likely to be compensated daily (35%) or annually (21%), compared with previous years. For on-call compensation, invasive cardiologists reported the highest median daily rates ($1,600 per day), with general surgeons falling in the middle ($1,150) and urologists pulling up the rear ($520).
 
Those practicing in single-specialty practices were better off than those practicing in multispecialty groups; for the former, OB/GYN physicians received a median on-call compensation of $500 per day and invasive cardiologists received $1,000 per day, compared to $250 and $750, respectively, for the latter.
Practice size also played a role in on-call compensation. In groups of 25 or fewer full-time-equivalent (FTE) physicians, anesthesiologists made $450 per day, compared with $660 for those in groups of 26-75 FTE doctors. General surgeons in the smaller group size earned a median $1,0000 per day, compared with $1,475 for those in the larger group size.
 
Key take-away: change your specialty and take on more on-call hours.
 
Take this information and make some practical use of it by taking advantage of the MGMA’s DataDrive 2010 Physician Compensation Production Module (http://HCP.LV/DD20LO). Use it to “analyze critical relationships between compensation and performance, [review] broad data that encompass physician and nonphysician providers, and [as] a valuable resource for your practice to perform regular benchmark analysis.”
 
With the new tool, users can securely:
  • View prepopulated submitted data if a participant in MGMA's compensation survey
  • “Apply a sophisticated, customizable compensation and productivity tracking tool for ongoing analysis”
  • Gain an understanding of how the industry in changing by viewing two years of data and the percentage change
  • Compare their own practice’s data to that of peers, using custom graphs and reports that can be created to help identify areas needing improvement
  • “View a wide range of data points per table and export tables to spreadsheet format for easier manipulation and reporting”
Those who prefer not to use the online version can obtain a printed report or CD. The non-member price for the module is $735, compared with $525 for members

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