The Medical Group Management Association says that its annual survey indicates that 2008 medical revenue declined 1.9% compared with 2007 for multispecialty physician practices. The MGMA's annual Cost Survey: 2009 Reports Based on 2008 Data attributes the decline to lower patient volume—between 2006 and 2008, the number of procedures dropped 9.9% and the number of patients dropped 11.3%—and higher bad-debt expense. In response, multispecialty practices decreased their overhead expenses by 1.4% in 2008 compared with the prior year. Most of the decrease came from reducing support staff costs by 1.5%; support staff costs comprise 32% of medical practice expenses. Among single-specialty practices, obstetrics/gynecology and gastroenterology saw lower profit margins in 2008, while cardiology, family practice, anesthesiology, pediatrics, orthopedic surgery and urology groups fared better, according to the MGMA's Cost Survey: 2009 Report Based on 2008 Data for Single-Specialty Practices.
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