Benchmarking data may assist surgeons, administrators in performance assessment

Orthopedic surgeons and institutions may benefit from benchmarking data released by the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives regarding performance assessment and determining necessary changes.

“It is important to be able to have access to a broad set of metrics to understand how you are doing in relation to others,” Vicki Sprague, PhD, senior director of data solutions and operations at American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives, told Healio.com/Orthopedics. “All this data can help not only make those decisions within a practice, but also allow you to increase your market position, to make decisions on whether to expand into other markets or whether to add ancillary services or if there are changes that need to be made in staffing or compensation for staff or physicians.”

Data collection

To collect this information, the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives invited more than 300 orthopedic practices representing a range of practice sizes, specialties, population sizes and regions to participate in an online survey on practice data.

“[The annual survey is] meant to provide orthopedic practice administrators with the data they need to make strategic decisions in their practice, so it includes everything from revenue and expenses, overhead staffing, accounts receivable, performance of ancillary services, compensation and productivity for providers and compensation for practice administrators,” Sprague said. “It is meant to be that one stop shop for all operational data.”

The survey results cover 4 years of trend data from 2014 to 2017, according to a press release, which Sprague noted is provided in an interactive online data portal that allows administrators and surgeons to apply filters to find the data that “makes most sense for them and allows direct comparisons of what they are doing to other orthopedic practices.” She added that the results of the benchmarking data are also available in an e-book format with reports based on practice size.

Changes in practice data

Among the data collected, the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives found that office visits per full time equivalent physician decreased slightly between 2014 and 2017. Surgical cases per full time equivalent physician increased during the same time period.

Sprague noted physician and provider compensation per full time equivalent physician has stayed consistent over the time periods collected.

“When you look at this across all specialties there was a decline between 2014 and 2015, followed by an increase in 2016 and 2017,” Sprague said. “Those averages are staying relatively consistent when comparing 2014 and 2017 levels.”

However, according to Sprague, the number of X-rays per technician have steadily increased since 2014 while the amount of revenue being received from the X-ray scans are going down.

“Based on other reports that I have looked at in the portal and some of the results that we have available, the number of X-rays per technician is going up, but the amount of revenue they are generating is going down, indicating that reimbursement models are changing so that it requires more X-rays to be done in order to pay for those technicians,” Sprague said.

Although some of the trends provided by the document are complex, Sprague noted that the data can provide insight on how different areas correspond with one another.

“The overall perspective for physicians is that this is a source of data that you can use to look at a variety of variables and consider how multiple metrics play together to better understand what is happening in your practices and then what is happening in the industry as a whole,” Sprague said. – by Casey Tingle

Reference:

www.aaoe.net/news/418613/Announcing-AAOE-Benchmarking-Survey-Results.htm

Disclosure: Sprague reports no relevant financial disclosures.

Orthopedic surgeons and institutions may benefit from benchmarking data released by the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives regarding performance assessment and determining necessary changes.

“It is important to be able to have access to a broad set of metrics to understand how you are doing in relation to others,” Vicki Sprague, PhD, senior director of data solutions and operations at American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives, told Healio.com/Orthopedics. “All this data can help not only make those decisions within a practice, but also allow you to increase your market position, to make decisions on whether to expand into other markets or whether to add ancillary services or if there are changes that need to be made in staffing or compensation for staff or physicians.”

Data collection

To collect this information, the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives invited more than 300 orthopedic practices representing a range of practice sizes, specialties, population sizes and regions to participate in an online survey on practice data.

“[The annual survey is] meant to provide orthopedic practice administrators with the data they need to make strategic decisions in their practice, so it includes everything from revenue and expenses, overhead staffing, accounts receivable, performance of ancillary services, compensation and productivity for providers and compensation for practice administrators,” Sprague said. “It is meant to be that one stop shop for all operational data.”

The survey results cover 4 years of trend data from 2014 to 2017, according to a press release, which Sprague noted is provided in an interactive online data portal that allows administrators and surgeons to apply filters to find the data that “makes most sense for them and allows direct comparisons of what they are doing to other orthopedic practices.” She added that the results of the benchmarking data are also available in an e-book format with reports based on practice size.

Changes in practice data

Among the data collected, the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives found that office visits per full time equivalent physician decreased slightly between 2014 and 2017. Surgical cases per full time equivalent physician increased during the same time period.

Sprague noted physician and provider compensation per full time equivalent physician has stayed consistent over the time periods collected.

“When you look at this across all specialties there was a decline between 2014 and 2015, followed by an increase in 2016 and 2017,” Sprague said. “Those averages are staying relatively consistent when comparing 2014 and 2017 levels.”

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However, according to Sprague, the number of X-rays per technician have steadily increased since 2014 while the amount of revenue being received from the X-ray scans are going down.

“Based on other reports that I have looked at in the portal and some of the results that we have available, the number of X-rays per technician is going up, but the amount of revenue they are generating is going down, indicating that reimbursement models are changing so that it requires more X-rays to be done in order to pay for those technicians,” Sprague said.

Although some of the trends provided by the document are complex, Sprague noted that the data can provide insight on how different areas correspond with one another.

“The overall perspective for physicians is that this is a source of data that you can use to look at a variety of variables and consider how multiple metrics play together to better understand what is happening in your practices and then what is happening in the industry as a whole,” Sprague said. – by Casey Tingle

Reference:

www.aaoe.net/news/418613/Announcing-AAOE-Benchmarking-Survey-Results.htm

Disclosure: Sprague reports no relevant financial disclosures.