1. What criterion must be met for true comparability?

True comparability needs to meet three criteria: consistency, verification, and unit measurement. Benchmarking is the process of analyzing key performance indicators (KPI) through internal and external comparisons to like data. The inherent difficulty with benchmarking is in obtaining true “apples to apples” comparisons or standards. Most physician practices, while similar in execution, vary greatly in terms of culture, policy, and operating environment. This makes true comparison without asterisks impossible.
Look within the practice’s existing data sets for comparable data. The practice’s billing data sets will contain inherent comparability between insurance carriers in a given marketplace thus avoiding the need to look externally. That being said the American Medical Association (AMA) has recently begun comparing these data elements in its annual production of the AMA Insurance Company Report Card, as one example. This is the criterion that should be used to achieve true comparability.

2. What elements of consistency should be considered?

There are three equally important areas of consistency that must be considered. These include time periods, as in time should be consistent. For example, a 10-month period should not be compared to a 12-month period. Instead, the 10-month period should be annualized to reach a consistent amount of data.
The second element is to make sure to use consistent methods when analyzing your data. The same inventory method, regardless of what it is, should be always used consistently for both the beginning of the year and for the end of the year.
Lastly, inflation should be taken in to consideration, especially if multiple years are being analyzed for a given report or period of time.

3. What is the manager's responsibility in comparing data?

It is important for the manager to always be aware of what ever the data he or she is receiving a it is...

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