Survey Finds Hospital-Owned Practices Attracted More Physicians Than Independent Ones in 2009

A survey by the Medical Group Management Association found that hospital-owned medical practices were more successful than other practice types in attracting physicians in 2009, according to an MGMA news release.

The survey, titled the Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey: 2010 Report Based on 2009 Data, found that 65 percent of established physicians who switched jobs in 2009 were placed in hospital-owned practices and 49 percent of physicians hired out of residency or fellowship were placed within hospital-owned practices.

Higher starting compensation could be one of the drivers for this trend as primary care and specialty care physicians in hospital-owned practices were offered more in first-year guaranteed compensation than in non–hospital-owned practices.

Historically, non–hospital-owned practices have offered higher first-year guaranteed compensation to specialty physicians, but that gap is shrinking, according to the report.

MGMA's data also shows first-year guaranteed compensation decreased by 2.1 percent since 2006 for specialists in single-specialty practices whereas primary care first-year guaranteed compensation has increased by 17.4 percent in the same timeframe. For 2009, primary care physicians reported median first-year guaranteed compensation of $160,000 in 2009 while specialists reported $230,000.

"Physicians are moving to hospital-owned practices for a number of reasons," Brenda Lewis, president of B.E.L. & Associates, and an MGMA survey advisory committee member, said in the release. "There is uncertainty of reimbursement for the future. Physicians are looking to sustain income to pay office overhead and have a paycheck to take home, and those with large Medicare populations are more likely to want to move to hospital-employed positions."

Learn more about MGMA.

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