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Report: Physicians Report Moderate Shifts in Compensation in 2011

July 10, 2012
by Jennifer Prestigiacomo
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Physicians reported moderate shifts in compensation in 2011, according to respondents to the Englewood, Colo.-based Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2012 Report Based on 2011 Data. For example, primary care physicians reported a 5.16 percent increase in median compensation. Physicians in family practice (without OB) reported median earnings of $200,114, and those in pediatric/adolescent medicine earned $203,948 in median compensation. Internists also reported a 5 percent increase in compensation.

“There appears to be a growing focus on primary care providers in anticipation of new methodologies in payment, a focus on coordination of care, and the imperative to control utilization and costs in the system,” said Michael L. Nochomovitz, M.D., president, University Hospitals Physician Services, Cleveland, in a statement. “There is increasing employment of physicians by integrated delivery systems and hospitals, which may also explain these shifts in compensation for primary care physicians.”

Radiologists, anesthesiologists and psychiatrists were among specialists who reported increases in compensation, but their gains lagged behind increases experienced by other specialists. For example, psychiatrists' compensation increased 3.86 percent since 2010 compared to the median growth of other specialists in the past year.
“The industry is moving toward a team approach in delivering care, which would include behavioral health care components,” continued Nochomovitz, former Association board member. “But the incentives for this model of care are still limited on a national scale.”

Specialists who reported slight decreases in compensation include nephrologists, OB/GYN: Gynecology only and radiation oncologists.

The survey report also contains data on compensation and RVUs for nonphysician providers. For example, physician assistants (PAs) in primary care earned $92,635 in median compensation and surgical PAs reported $111,246 in median compensation.
 

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