MGMA survey: Physician practices with electronic medical records earn more

Tags: ehr, revenue, medical group management association, survey

MGMA survey: Physician practices
with electronic medical records earn more

posted 11.02.10

Medical practices that have implemented an electronic health record system report better financial performance than those that have not, according to a recent report by the Medical Group Management Association.

The report, “Electronic Health Records Impacts on Revenue, Costs, and Staffing: 2010 Report Based on 2009 Data,” revealed that independent practices that were not owned by a hospital or integrated delivery system and that had an EHR reported nearly $50,000 greater total medical revenue after operating cost per full-time physician than practices with paper medical records. Independent practices with EHRs also reported greater expenses, but had greater median revenue per physician than practices with paper records.

While independent practices that implement EHR systems face the highest costs in the first year after installation, the systems increase in value over time. After one year, medical records and transcription staff costs decrease. After five years, information technology staff per physician increase slightly and medical records staff per physician decrease by more than 40 percent.

Hospital-owned multispecialty medical practices with an EHR system reported similar results. These practices report an operating margin of $42,000 more than the margin of those with paper records, slightly less than independent practices with an EHR.

“Adopting an electronic system can be costly and time consuming, and understanding the impact it will have on the practice is critical,” said William F. Jessee, M.D., president and CEO of MGMA, in an MGMA press release. “While the implementation process can be very cumbersome, these data indicate that there are financial benefits to practices that implement an EHR system.”

For a copy of the full report, go to