A Walkthrough – Part One: The 2011 SHM-MGMA Compensation and Productivity Survey

It’s due March 11th.  Time to get crackin’!

In an attempt to make your travel through this process easier, I took notes on our own journey through the survey.  First off, I’d download and print the following materials from SHM and MGMA:

1)      The SHM Survey FAQs

2)      The SHM Survey Prep Document

3)      The Excel Version of the MGMA Survey from the MGMA Survey Portal.  Print the Guide from the first tab.  Just push the “print” button at the top of the page.  (I can’t link you directly to this file as one must login first through the portal.)

Next, login to the MGMA Survey Portal.  Start the survey and download the excel file.  (You don’t have to use the excel file, but I do think it’s much easier for that portion of the survey.)

Please note that each practice will need to have their expert in both the clinical operations of the practice as well as its finances and productivity measures available to complete their portions of the survey.  This could be accomplished separately for the most part, as long as they can come together to review the information for accuracy and compile a single report when they’ve finished their respective areas.

IMPORTANT – Remember to hit the save button at the bottom of the page frequently as you go. You’ll likely be sorry if you don’t heed this bit of advice.

Here we go.  Commentary on the questions follows:

Question 2 – Most practices are single specialty, meaning Hospitalist only.  If you are a multispecialty group, the hospitalist questions later will apply to the inpatient portion of the practice only.

Question 3 – For Single Specialty practices, answer “Hospitalist Medicine” here.

Question 7 – If you are medical school wholly owned or operated department or practice, STOP.  You don’t do the survey again until the fall.

Question 8 – To be affiliated with a medical school, yet not fully academic as per question 7, the practice must meet BOTH criteria A and B as laid out in the guide on the MGMA spreadsheet.

Question 11 – Some states allow PAs and NPs to own professional corporations (PLLCs).  If so in your state, these individuals would be considered physician equivalents for purposes of answering this question.

Question 13 – Click out to the US Census Bureau Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas and select the link for “December 2009 (OMB Bulletin 10-02)”.  Find your area(s) in this PDF file.

Questions 15 and on are now off by one number from the guide due to the sub-question triggered by Question 14.  Be aware that the guide question number and survey number no longer match at this point.

Question 15 – Most hospitalist practices have no ancillary revenue.  A hospitalist practice that is part of a multispecialty organization may have such revenue associated with the organization or its owners, but the hospitalist portion of the practice likely has no ancillary revenue as defined here.  (Note that this is NOT contracted support monies.  Such financial support is reported later in the survey.)

Question 16 – Again, this is NET revenue, after any refunds or write-offs for clinical care provided.  Any contractual financial support would NOT be reported here.

Questions 17 & 18 – I would complete the “Provider Matrix” tab on the spreadsheet first, and then return to this question.  Note that MGMA will not allow any provider to be more than 1.0 FTE, so you need to dig through the matrix first and/or define what an FTE is for the practice before answering this question.  As for us, we defined an FTE based on the number of shifts worked per year with 180 shifts per year being the definition of 1 FTE.  A provider with more than 180 shifts was still 1 FTE while less than 180 shifts was a fractional FTE.  (135 shifts would be 0.75 FTE because 135/180 = 0.75.)  One could also use hours worked or productivity measures for this.

Question 21 – This question triggers the Hospitalist Survey later on.  Be sure to answer “YES”!

Questions 22 & 23 – Multiple items can be selected.  Choose ALL that apply to your practice.

That’s enough for now.  See the highly specific instructions in the guide for completion of the Provider Matrix.  Again, I think it’s much easier to do this in spreadsheet form as opposed to on the web directly.  And don’t forget to hit “save” frequently, at least once on each page.  Don’t blame me for the foul language that ensues if your web browser crashes and you haven’t saved recently!

I’ll tackle the Hospitalist specific survey questions in the next post.

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