Primary care pay grows faster than specialties: 6 findings

Compensation for primary care providers increased at a faster rate than specialty care compensation last year, according to the 2015 Medical Group Management Association annual compensation survey

The survey was based on comparative data of more than 80,000 providers.

"New care delivery models for primary care are shaping the landscape of healthcare delivery, and in turn shaping patient experiences in doctors' offices around the country," Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, president and CEO of the MGMA, said in a prepared statement. "Practices are giving primary care physicians significant new responsibility for coordinating care among specialists, managing patient medications, and helping patients and caregivers manage chronic conditions. As we shift toward value-based payment, practices will continue to look to primary care and non-physician providers to lead efforts to improve patient experiences and the quality of care they provide."

Here are six findings from the survey, as stated by MGMA.

1. The survey found that median primary care physician compensation increased more than 4 percent in 2015 over 2014, to more than $250,000. Specialist compensation grew by more than 3 percent to approximately $425,000.

2. Both primary and specialty care physician compensation grew faster last year than in 2014. Non-physician pay also increased, growing by nearly 4 percent to about $107,000 in median compensation in 2015.
3. Primary care compensation has grown faster than specialty care compensation over time, the survey found. Over the past five years, primary care compensation has increased by 18 percent, while specialty care compensation has increased by about 11 percent.

4. States where primary care physicians earned the highest salaries in 2015 were Alaska, Wisconsin and Arkansas, while primary care physicians in Nevada, Maine and Maryland earned the least.

5. Among specialty care physicians, providers in Wisconsin, Nevada and Nebraska earned the highest total compensation, and those in Maryland, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania earned the lowest compensation last year, according to the survey.

6. Surgeons earnedthe highest total compensation last year, with pediatric cardiovascular and neurological surgery, Mohs surgery, orthopedic spinal surgery and neurological surgery ranking among the five highest compensated specialties in 2015.



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