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Validity and general applicability of MGMA data?

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  • Validity and general applicability of MGMA data?

    I was wondering if any of the readers here have insight regarding the validity and general applicability of MGMA data.  My experience has been that hospital administrators treat it as infallible.  That immediately raises a red flag in my book.  I have never had access to the entire data set.  I have only been told what the median work RVU value is (I'm not even sure if it's for the region or nationally).  Does anyone know if there is uniformity in the data submitted?  Is there a way to find out if other practices in the data set are similar to your own? I once asked how many dermatologists were represented in the survey, and was told it was around 300.  There are about 10,000 practicing dermatologists in the U.S. Thus, if I was told correctly, the MGMA data only represents around 3% of practicing dermatologists. Would this be correct?  If so, not a very representative sample.

    I am a practicing dermatologist in the rural Midwest, employed by a small hospital with relative geographic isolation (no other derm for 1 hour).  It is very difficult to recruit here.  We also have favorable treatment by commercial insurers.  Am I getting lumped into a group with employed derms at Kaiser in SoCal with 300 picture perfect days a year?  Even if I'm being compared to employed derms in urban/suburban practices in the upper midwest, I'm not sure it's an honest reflection of my market value.

    Thank you in advance for any replies!

  • #2
    Good question. I'm a graduating Derm resident and would be interested in this as well

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    • #3
      I can't speak to the MGMA data itself, but I can bust out my biostats skillz to say that an n of 300 is pretty darn good and will lead to very tight confidence intervals when determining mean productivity.  Eg, if mean productivity is $200k/yr with a SD of $20k, you can say with 99% confidence that the true mean is between $197k and $203k.

      I used to question the MHA-types managing me until I took some of their courses during my MPH and worked more closely with the administrators when I was out of school.  They're much better at running a business than I am, but you can also help them to help you be more productive.  I seem to recall WCI touching on this once, talking about how invaluable good documentation/coding/etc can be...

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      • #4
        Agree. Not that the data is believeable or the sources are clean and without error/obfuscation (i simply dont know the methods)...but that while 3% sounds small unless it was specifically picked its likely a decent comparison. Look at all the political polls and such like Nate Silver does, they dont have many n (of course he combines them) but he still is able to obtain extremely accurate forecasts from them.

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        • #5
          Looking at 2015 data, Derm's first reported numbers are for 3-7 years our with a standard deviation of $225k.

           

           

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          • #6
            Our hospital looks at 3 surveys.  MGMA is one.  The other 2 are SCA and AGMA, both of which I believe come from Sullivan Cotter.  There is substantial variation from one survey to the next, so the data is clearly not very reliable.  I wish they only looked at MGMA.  The other 2 bring the mean down.

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            • #7
              The MGMA data is broken down by geography too no?

              As a dermatologist that also practices in an undesirable area with above average treatment by commercial insurers, I can say my numbers safely rocket past the MGMA data

              The difficulty in recruiting is also in my favor during negotiations. As my employer has had to learn the hard way, hard to retain good docs in this area.

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              • #8
                Hrm, I'm looking at the MGMA numbers for general derm right now in the Pacific Northwest for 2014. 1st year post fellowship: mean = $297, 625; median $315,000; for established physicians, mean is $462,585, median is $450,756. My base (without productions) for my first year out of residency is $325,000. Hope that helps.

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                • #9
                  Does your specialty organization put out any compensation data? Ours (AAPM&R) has a much more comprehensive compensation survey report that breaks out compensation based on more specific areas (state, city, urban vs rural), subspecialty, type of practice, years in practice, sex, etc and has information for full time vs part time. It's much better than the MGMA data.

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                  • #10




                    I was wondering if any of the readers here have insight regarding the validity and general applicability of MGMA data.  My experience has been that hospital administrators treat it as infallible.  That immediately raises a red flag in my book.  I have never had access to the entire data set.  I have only been told what the median work RVU value is (I’m not even sure if it’s for the region or nationally).  Does anyone know if there is uniformity in the data submitted?  Is there a way to find out if other practices in the data set are similar to your own? I once asked how many dermatologists were represented in the survey, and was told it was around 300.  There are about 10,000 practicing dermatologists in the U.S. Thus, if I was told correctly, the MGMA data only represents around 3% of practicing dermatologists. Would this be correct?  If so, not a very representative sample.

                    I am a practicing dermatologist in the rural Midwest, employed by a small hospital with relative geographic isolation (no other derm for 1 hour).  It is very difficult to recruit here.  We also have favorable treatment by commercial insurers.  Am I getting lumped into a group with employed derms at Kaiser in SoCal with 300 picture perfect days a year?  Even if I’m being compared to employed derms in urban/suburban practices in the upper midwest, I’m not sure it’s an honest reflection of my market value.

                    Thank you in advance for any replies!
                    Click to expand...


                    Sounds to me like you can demand pretty much whatever you want if you're the only guy within an hour, especially if you're willing to move if they don't give it to you.
                    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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