Multipractice medical facilities cut operating expenses last year, report says

In today's economic climate, many small- to mid-size multipractice medical facilities are looking for ways to cut costs to prepare for the transition to eprescribing and medical billing software, or to simply make their practices more efficient. And a new reports suggest many are succeeding.

Last month, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) released a report entitled "Cost Survey for Multispecialty Practices," and found that medical facilities decreased their expenditures by 2.2 percent in 2010. However, at the same time, general operating costs rose by roughly 52 percent.

Some of the areas that hospitals made cuts to were in its budget for furniture and drugs. The report found that drug supply costs in these institutions decreased by 8.5 percent, while expenditures on equipment fell by nearly 24 percent. By comparison, expenditures increased for medical and surgical supplies and staff support.

William Jessee, MGMA's president and CEO, spoke about the results in a press release, saying that the recent cuts may not be a positive sign like similar reports that consumers are being more frugal with their spending.

"There is only so much more practices can do to cut expenditures without inhibiting their ability to run a successful, innovative practice," he said.

While certain factors may be contributing to the increased costs, hospitals could increase spending in the short term to see reduced expenditures down the road. For example, by working with a provider of top-notch electronic medical records software, companies could save time and resources that they would have put toward installation and employee training.

Multipractice medical facilities that are looking to cut costs may want to think about such measures, as in some cases government legislation provides lucrative incentives for those who make the transition to new technologies early.