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MGMA Reveals Median Compensation for CIOs in U.S. Medical Groups

July 6, 2016
by Mark Hagland
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The median compensation of CIOs in U.S. medical groups was $170,314 in 2015, according to the Medical Group Management Association

The median total compensation of CIOS in U.S. medical groups was $170,314 in 2015, according to executives at the Englewood, Colorado-based Medical Group Management Association. MGMA executives released that figure to Healthcare Informatics upon the release of broader statistics on June 27 around medical group CEO and group practice executive compensation, based on that association’s recent surveying of executives about what they earned.

MGMA’s compensation survey found that those executives who work for large practices and for hospital-owned group practices, are earning the highest salaries, with non-physician CEOs of medical group practices owned by hospitals having median compensation of $305,000, versus $242,000 being the median for non-physician CEOs at physician-owned practices. Meanwhile, the $170,314 figure that MGMA released exclusively to HCI detailing the median compensation for CIOs of medical group practices, places medical group CIO salaries somewhat lower on average than those of CIOs in hospitals, yet probably comparable with regard to organizational size.

According to MGMA, the median total compensation of CIOs in U.S. medical groups was $170,314 in 2015. That might seem rather low compared to the average base salary of hospital CIOs of $208,417 in 2013, as uncovered by a 2014 conducted by the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), even given the two-year time gap between the publication of the two surveys. And it certainly would be a low figure compared to the $310,326 average salary of CIOs at multi-hospital systems; though it is also considerably higher than the $128,193 average compensation of CIOs at critical-access hospitals, according to CHIME’s 2014 survey based on 2013 data. What’s more, the $170,314 figure for 2015 is a considerable leap over MGMA’s medians for 2011 and 2012, which were $123,597 and $132,898, respectively, according to reporting at that time.

Also, interestingly, the median salary for CIOs across all industries in the U.S. was $149,730 in January 2016, according to PayScale, an organization that crowdsources compensation data across different titles and industries in the U.S.

Meanwhile, as MGMA leaders noted in a June 27 press release highlighting broad trends in medical group compensation, the median compensation for medical group practice executives depended to a considerable extent on the size of the group involved. “Median compensation for practice executives varies significantly based on the size of the practice,” the press release stated, referring specifically to group practice CEOs and executive directors. “Practice CEOs and executive directors at practices with 25 or fewer employees earned approximately $181,000 in median compensation last year. By contrast, those in practices with 151 or more full time employees received more than $430,000 in compensation, more than twice as much, and their peers in mid-sized practices with 26 to 50 full time employees earned roughly $252,000. Similarly, administrators in these mid-sized practices earned $180,500 last year, while their counterparts in small practices with six or fewer employees earned less than $90,000.”

Compensation of medical group executives was also found to have varied dramatically by geography. “CEOs and executive directors in the Midwest received the highest compensation last year, with those at larger practices receiving median compensation totaling more than $447,500, and those at smaller practices with 25 or fewer full time physicians receiving less than $234,000. Executives at larger practices in the East and at smaller practices in the South received less than their peers at similarly-sized practices in other regions.”