2013 MMS Physician Practice Environment Index Report

The Massachusetts Medical Society Physician Practice Environment Index, a statistical indicator of the factors that affect the delivery of patient care from physician practices, increased 0.6 percent in Massachusetts and 0.5 percent in the United States in 2012.

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Both the Massachusetts Index and the United States Index measure nine factors that impact the delivery of patient care in Massachusetts and in the United States.  The indicators are:

  • Applications to medical schools
  • Percent of physicians 55 years of age and over
  • Median physician income levels
  • Ratio of median housing prices to median physician income
  • Cost of maintaining a physician’s practice
  • Mean number of hours spent on patient care activities
  • Number of visits per emergency department
  • Change in average professional liability (“malpractice”) insurance premium rates
  • Annual number of advertisements for physician vacancies in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Continued positive growth in both Indices is suggestive of a subtly improving physician practice environment overall. In each of the past six years, the United States Index has increased, a trend that reflects a stronger practice environment. While this conclusion is best supported nationally, the Massachusetts Index has also shown modest improvement over the past two years. 

Download the full report. (.pdf, 9 pages, 160 kb)

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