Health care reform has ignited much debate on health care costs and how compensation should be calculated for services. Physicians and insurers alike have strong opinions about the value-based and quality-of-care metrics put in place by the Affordable Care Act. Data is starting to show just how these changes will affect the health care system. The Medical Group Management Association's (MGMA) annual physician compensation survey was just completed for 2013 and shows a promising upward trend in physician compensation as a result of the new metrics.
An Upward Trend
The survey revealed that both primary care physicians and specialists doubled their percentage of compensation linked to value-based metrics between 2012 and 2013. Primary care physicians saw a 5.96 percent increase, up from three percent in 2012. Specialists reported a 5.70 percent increase in total compensation, up from just two percent in 2012. While compensation linked to quality metrics still seems to be a small percentage, researchers believe the upward trend is promising. "This is going to be a gradual shift. It will be a trend that we will see evolve," says MGMA Vice President of Data Solutions Todd Evenson.
Understand What Impacts Ratings and Revenue
While Medicare and some other insurers have already implemented quality metrics, it appears to be a direction health care is moving toward. As more physicians and facilities begin to adopt ACO practices, it's important to understand the full picture of what influences metrics and reimbursement rates. Health care outcomes are important, but the patient experience is playing a vital role in how a physician or hospital gets compensated. The basic processes of time management, accurate billing, and medical practice efficiency can impact your patients' experience and potentially the ratings your practice receives. That means effective medical practice management is critical.
When evaluating reimbursement models, budgeting for future growth, and reforming the logistics of your billing process, it's important to factor in all of the variables that will affect your medical practice, and ultimately physician compensation.
If you are a physician that has implemented value-based metrics in your practice, do you find compensation rates are similar to those in the report? Leave a comment…we would enjoy hearing your perspective!