Healthcare Business News

Medicare Part B gets medical practice pros' highest marks

By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: November 14, 2012 - 12:45 pm ET

In an MGMA-ACMPE survey, medical practice professionals gave their highest overall payer-satisfaction ratings to Medicare Part B. The program had the highest ratings in the categories of overall performance, responsiveness to questions, the claims-appeals process and willingness to disclose fee schedules and payment policies. It finished last in the ratings for provider credentialing.

A news release about the survey, which recorded 800 medical practice professionals' opinions about seven major payers, noted that the MGMA government affairs staff is working with the CMS to streamline the Medicare enrollment process.

Cigna Corp. had the highest rating in the survey for provider credentialing. Cigna also had the highest rating for contracting, in response to the question, "How satisfied are you that the payer conducts two-way, good-faith negotiations during the contracting process?" (Medicare Part B was not included in that question.)

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Other payers included in the survey were Aetna, Anthem, Coventry, Humana and UnitedHealthcare.

In general, the study found a strong connection between practice satisfaction and timely, accurate and consistent communication from payers.

"It's mutually beneficial to keep lines of communication open and for our members and the payer community to cultivate deeper relationships," Dr. Susan Turney, MGMA-ACMPE president and CEO, said in the release. "Ultimately, these interactions may result in less distraction and resource diversion from practices' primary focus, the needs of their patients."

The MGMA-ACMPE has some 22,500 members who lead approximately 13,200 medical organizations. The group was created when the formerly "legally separate, but aligned" organizations—the Medical Group Management Association and the American College of Medical Practice Executives—merged.

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