The AASM urges physician members to participate in a national study being conducted by the American Medical Association (AMA), and supported by 173 health care organizations including the AASM, to collect representative data on physician practice expenses. The aim of the Physician Practice Information (PPI) Survey is to better understand the costs faced by today’s physician practices to support physician payment advocacy. The study will serve as an opportunity to communicate accurate financial information to policymakers, including members of Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). To conduct the study, the AMA has contracted with Mathematica, an independent research company with extensive experience in survey methods as well as health care delivery and finance reform.

The Medicare physician payment schedule, maintained by CMS and used by many other payers, relies on 2006 cost information to develop practice expense relative values, the Medicare Economic Index, and resulting physician payments. As the U.S. economy and health care system have undergone substantial changes since that time, including inflation and the widespread adoption of electronic health records and other information technology systems, practice expense payments no longer accurately reflect the relative resources that are typically required to provide physician services.

The study will rely on financial experts in the practice to complete an online financial information survey. The number of direct patient care hours is a critical component of the Medicare payment methodology. Therefore, thousands of individual physicians will receive a short Physician Hours Survey, either directly from their practice or from Mathematica. The input from physician practices and individual physicians who are randomly selected to participate in this study is critical for its success. Participation will ensure that practice expenses and patient care hours are accurately reflected.

Practices will be contacted via mail and email:

  • The subject line for the PPI Survey invitation email will read, “American Medical Association requests your input on physician practice expense and patient care hours.” The subject line for the Physician Hours Survey invitation email will read, “Please help to update accurate physician payments.”
  • Invitations and reminders about the PPI Survey, sent to financial experts in the practice, will come from Invitations and reminders about the Physician Hours Survey, distributed to physicians, will come from or directly from the practice.

The AASM urges members to support this survey. Please contact with any questions related to the PPI Survey.