The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) has recently released a report claiming that medical practices spent more money on their staff in 2013 than in 2012. While this trend is due in part to medical practices choosing to hire more skilled staff members, the MGMA states that increasing administrative burdens are also to blame.

The “Cost Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data,” took data from over 2,500 group practices and found that practices spent 4.6% more on their total business operations staff, including general administration, information technology, managed care administration and patient accounting staff, than in the previous year.

Practices were spending a median of $52, 099 for each full-time employed (FTE) physician in order to support their staff. The survey also found that primary care single-specialty practices had 4.94 support staff members per FTE physician while hospital-owned primary care practices had 3.5 support staff members.

It has become increasingly necessary for practices to dedicate more of their staff resources to managing complicated government regulations and procedures. The complex requirements of Medicare PQRS, meaningful use, and value-based payment modifier programs are accumulating administrative reporting costs rather than supporting efforts to improve the quality of patient care.

Author: Lauren Daniels

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