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National Study to Document Changes in Physician Practice Expense—Your Input is Needed

The American Medical Association (AMA) is undertaking a new national study, supported by 173 healthcare organizations, (including the OSMA) to collect representative data on physician practice expenses. The aim of the Physician Practice Information (PPI) Survey is to better understand the costs faced by today’s physician practices to support physician payment advocacy.

The study will serve as an opportunity to communicate accurate financial information to policymakers, including members of Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The AMA has contracted with Mathematica, an independent research company with extensive experience in survey methods as well as health care delivery and finance reform, to conduct the study. Mathematica will formally launch the PPI Survey on Monday, July 31.

The Medicare physician payment schedule, maintained by CMS and used by many other payers, relies on 2006 cost information to develop practice expense relative values, the Medicare Economic Index and resulting physician payments. As the U.S. economy and health care system have undergone substantial changes since that time, including inflation and the wide-spread adoption of electronic health records and other information technology systems, practice expense payments no longer accurately reflect the relative resources that are typically required to provide physician services.

The study will rely on financial experts in the practice to complete an online financial information survey. The number of direct patient care hours is a critical component of the Medicare payment methodology. Therefore, thousands of individual physicians will receive a short patient care hours survey from either their practice directly or from Mathematica. The input from physician practices and individual physicians that are randomly selected to participate in this study is critical for its success. Participation will ensure that practice expenses and patient care hours are accurately reflected.

A few specifics you and your practice can be looking for on the survey request. 

  • Throughout the next few months practices will be contacted via mail and email and will be completing this survey until early 2024.

  • The subject line for the PPI Survey invitation email will read, “American Medical Association requests your input on physician practice expense and patient care hours”. The subject line for the Physician Hours Survey invitation email will read, “Please help to update accurate physician payments.”

  • Invitations and reminders about the PPI Survey, sent to financial experts in the practice, will come from Invitations and reminders about the Physician Hours Survey, distributed to physicians, will come from or from the practice directly.

Please email Sherry Smith with any questions related to the PPI Survey.


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