Compensation Issues

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Physician compensation growth for 8 specialties 2017-18

Physician compensation increased significantly for psychiatrists and some primary care specialties from 2017-18, while productivity largely stayed the same, according to AMGA's "2019 Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey."

Primary care specialties saw a nearly 5 percent median increase in compensation, while work RVUs — a measure of productivity — increased just 0.21 percent at the median. Specialty physicians saw a 3.39 percent increase in compensation and 1.9 percent growth in wRVUs. Across all specialties, productivity increased just 0.29 percent. This slight uptick notably comes after a 1.63 percent decline in productivity the year prior, meaning overall productivity is still down from 2016 levels, according to AMGA. 

"Data from this year's survey shows compensation is increasing without an equivalent increase in wRVU production for many specialties. This trend is causing organizations to absorb additional compensation expenses without balancing revenue from production increases," Fred Horton, president of AMGA Consulting, said in a press release. "More intentionally transitioning to value-based care is one strategy medical groups can use to mitigate this trend, as it would help them better clarify their organizational strategies and objectives."

Ranked by compensation growth, here is how eight specialties compare on compensation growth and change in wRVU production from 2017 to 2018:

  • Psychiatry — 15.6 percent increase in compensation (-1.1 percent change in wRVUs)
  • Family medicine — 6.25 percent (1.23 percent)
  • Internal medicine — 5.9 percent (-0.34 percent)
  • Cardiology — 4.4 percent (1.8 percent)
  • Dermatology — 3.3 percent (1.6 percent)
  • Hospitalist — 2.1 percent (1.1 percent)
  • Pediatrics — -0.04 percent (-0.96 percent)
  • Gastroenterology — -0.4 percent (0.7 percent)

Read more here.

 

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