MediMedia Research Survey

Medical Directors Juggle Clinical Matters, Financial Performance


Medical directors and chief medical officers have traditionally been in-house medical experts who focused primarily on clinical matters—and that hasn’t changed, according to a recent MediMedia Research survey.

But respondents to the survey of medical directors and chief medical officers also rated their organization’s commitment to value-based care as high, a development that will mean grappling with the cost implications of clinical policies and practices. And about a third of the respondents said a large percentage (41% or higher) of their job concerns the financial performance of their organization.

The 42 medical directors who completed the online survey in mid-October also rated their influence at their organizations as high, and 19 (45%) said they report directly to the organization’s CEO.

Level of influence at current organization

Scale = 1–7; 1 = Not at all influential, 7 = Extremely influential

MediMedia Research is part of MediMedia Managed Markets, which owns Managed Care. MediMedia Managed Markets is an ICON plc company. This survey was sent to members of the Medical Directors Forum, a social network for medical directors that is affiliated with MediMedia, and to Managed Care subscribers (only subscribers who identified themselves as medical directors were included in the analysis).

Many (19, or 45%) of the respondents have been medical directors for more than 10 years. Roughly speaking, they were evenly distributed among provider organizations (integrated delivery systems or medical groups), payer organizations, and an “other” category.

When asked about their level of involvement in several areas, the respondents rated “determining clinical practice policies” the highest (43 out of 100 points) with management of employees and other categories lagging far behind. This result fits with the common perception of the medical director as someone who brings a physician’s perspective to an organization’s decisions. And about a third (14 of the 42) of the respondents said that 20% or less of their job concerned their company or organization’s financial performance.

Percentage of job concerning financial performance of your company/organization

But, of course, that means financial performance was more important for many respondents. About a third said 21%–40% of their job concerns financial performance and another third said it was more than that.

Level of involvement at your organization

Average 100-point allocation

Reporting directly to CEO

Source for all charts: MediMedia Research