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Medical Practice Costs Creep Higher

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, December 13, 2012

"I feel like practices in this era of uncertainty are very cautious. And as a result, they're doing everything they can to control that cost curve growth and they're taking every opportunity, such as [cutting costs for] medical surgical supplies, where they may have had a large inventory of said items; now, they're keeping a just-in-time inventory of those items," said Evenson.

Going back to 2007, Evenson says per FTE physician, doctors were spending $10,853 on surgical supplies, and now that cost is up to more than $13,000 in 2011.

"Concerns over the sustainable growth rate (SGR) and diminished reimbursement are causing uncertainty within the market space and limiting potential investments," he added.

Other cost drivers to managing medical group practices include:

  • Business support staff
  • Clinical staff
  • Information technology (IT)
  • Building and occupancy rates
  • Drug supply costs
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