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MGMA shows ‘meaningful use’ may cause decrease in physician productivity

03.07.2010

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) conducted research to determine the ability of medical groups to meet the meaningful use requirements and qualify for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs.  To review key findings from the research, click here.

According to an MGMA press release, it is suggested that the changes in practice operations necessary to meet the 25 “meaningful use” criteria proposed as part of the Medicare electronic health record (EHR) incentive program would lead to decreased provider productivity. The research identifies which meaningful use criteria could prove particularly challenging for physicians to accomplish.

Respondents to MGMA’s questionnaire were asked to estimate the change in provider productivity resulting from the implementation of all 25 of the meaningful use criteria, not including the temporary decrease in productivity that occurs with any implementation of a new EHR. More than two-thirds of respondents (67.9 percent) said that physician productivity will decrease, with 31 percent stating that physician productivity will decrease more than 10 percent.

The MGMA research also highlights the specific criteria that many respondents say would be “difficult” or “very difficult” to achieve.  These include:

  • The proposed requirement that 80 percent of all patient requests for an electronic copy of their health information be fulfilled within 48 hours (45.9 percent) and
  • The proposed requirement that 10 percent of all patients be given electronic access to their health information within 96 hours of the information being available (53.5 percent).

MGMA conducted the research in January and February 2010, and data include feedback from 445 respondents from providers in medical group practices throughout the United States.

MGMA is the premier membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices. Since 1926, MGMA has delivered networking, professional education and resources, and political advocacy for medical practice management. Today, MGMA’s 21,500 members lead 13,700 organizations nationwide in which some 275,000 physicians provide more than 40 percent of the health care services delivered in the United States.