Physician answers on this survey will shape future Medicare pay

October 03, 2023
Area(s) of Interest: Public Payors 

The American Medical Association (AMA) has contracted with Mathematica, an independent research company, to conduct the AMA Physician Practice Information Survey.

The input from physician practices and individual physicians that are randomly selected to participate in this study is critical for its success and will help shape the future of Medicare physician pay. Participation will ensure that practice expenses and patient-care hours are accurately reflected.

The survey will be administered from July 2023 – April 2024. The California Medical Association (CMA) strongly urges all physicians who are selected for the surveys to respond as soon as possible. It is very important that we get enough responses to have accurate and statistically valid physician cost data. This is particularly important for California physicians to ensure the survey results – and ultimate payment rates – reflect our state's higher practice expenses.

There are two elements to the PPI survey—a financial survey and a physician hours survey.

About the Survey

The purpose of the 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 and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The Medicare physician payment schedule, maintained by CMS and used by many other payors, currently 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 wide-spread 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.

If contacted AMA and Mathematica will make data collection as convenient for you and your practice as possible and assure you that your individual data will be kept private. Participation is voluntary but critical to the success of efforts to support accurate resource-based physician payment.  

Data from this survey will be used to help determine physician payment levels. Because of California’s high practice costs, it will be extremely important for California physicians to respond so that Medicare reimbursement rates truly cover the cost of practicing in California. CMS proposed an alternative last year using surrogate practice cost data, not AMA survey data, and it would have cut California physician Medicare payments by $86 million. 

Practices are encouraged to watch their emails for survey invitations. 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 will be sent to financial experts in the practice and will come from PPISurvey@mathematica-mpr.com. Invitations and reminders about the Physician Hours Survey will be distributed to physicians and will come from PhysicianHoursSurvey@mathematica-mpr.com or from the practice directly.


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