Total Medical Group Investment per Physician Improved in 2018, According to New AMGA Survey

Alexandria, VA – Data from the newly released AMGA 2019 Medical Group Operations and Finance Survey shows that integrated system and independent practice operating margins improved from 2017 to 2018, indicating that these healthcare organizations are developing strategies to better manage their physician enterprises.

Data from this year’s survey, conducted by AMGA Consulting, shows median total investment (loss) per physician in integrated systems changed from $243,918 in 2017 to $201,042 in 2018, a 21% improvement. In independent practices, which are set up to break even, the total profit per physician improved marginally from $2,396 in 2017 to $2,510 in 2018.

“The improvement of integrated systems is reflective of an industry-wide emphasis on improving financial performance,” stated Fred Horton, M.H.A., AMGA Consulting president. “Across health care, integrated systems are feeling financially challenged, and as a result, are focusing on better management of their physician enterprises.”

To better understand how operational and financial factors at each level affect bottom line outcomes, the 2019 edition of the survey was redesigned to analyze performance at the department, process, role, and line item levels. The survey now includes data benchmarks in the following areas:

  • Revenue cycle metrics, including best practice utilization, denials, claims lag times, and central business office staffing
  • Access information, including provider scheduling data, panel size, and access metrics
  • Clinic staffing details, with role-specific levels per physician, per provider, and per 10,000 wRVUs
  • Advanced Practice Provider to Physician ratios by specialty
  • Benchmarks for both independent practices and integrated systems

The survey also now includes data on the prevalence of certain operational best practices. For example, readers will find that almost all respondents now employ multiple access strategies to increase convenience for patients. These strategies include offering early or after-hours visits (71% of respondents) and providing telehealth services (36%).

“Although investment (loss) or profit per physician is viewed as an industry standard metric, relying solely on bottom line financial results to assess performance can lead to missed opportunities for improvement,” said Rose Wagner, R.N., M.H.S., AMGA Consulting chief operating officer. “Bottom lines can be impacted by numerous factors, such as allocation methodology, ancillary assignment, etc., many of which are outside the control of medical group operations, thus making them non-actionable. Regardless of integrated or independent model of ownership, you must focus on process orientation and individual line-item variances. Once those are understood, the hard work of improvement can begin.”

Response data came from not-for-profit and for-profit medical groups across the United States, representing more than 15,300 provider FTEs. Responses were balanced between integrated systems and independent practices, with 54% of responses coming from integrated systems and 46% coming from independent practices.


About AMGA Consulting
AMGA Consulting is an independent professional services firm that provides consulting and advisory services to multispecialty medical groups and integrated health systems across the United States. AMGA consultants bring real world experience from the front lines of health care, specializing in physician and provider compensation services, Fair Market Value (FMV) reviews, operational performance management, revenue cycle performance, strategy and organizational development. 

About AMGA
AMGA is a trade association leading the transformation of health care in America. Representing multispecialty medical groups and integrated systems of care, we advocate, educate, innovate, and empower our members to deliver the next level of high performance health. AMGA is the national voice promoting awareness of our members’ recognized excellence in the delivery of coordinated, high quality, high-value care. More than 175,000 physicians practice in our member organizations, delivering care to one in three Americans.


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Sharon Grace
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