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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: March 3, 2009
ECG Management Consultants Inc. Releases Findings From Its Provider Surveys

ECG Management Consultants Inc. said it has released its ninth annual Washington State and Oregon Provider Compensation, Production, and Benefits Surveys.

ECG’s Northwest surveys analyze and report information from over 4,000 healthcare providers representing 42 physician subspecialties and 8 midlevel provider specialties in the states of Washington and Oregon. The surveys include critical data such as compensation-to-production ratios, including work and total relative value units (RVUs), procedure code distributions, trends in provider recruiting and retention, and specialty-specific benefit and malpractice comparisons.

This information, coupled with ECG’s interpretation of market trends, enables survey participants to assess their performance relative to the competitive local market.

General findings in the 2008 surveys based on 2007 data indicate the following:

  • Compensation relative to work RVU production increased for Northwest physicians by 5.4 percent as a result of compensation gains of 3.3 percent on declining production.
  • Primary care physicians produced 20 percent more work RVUs under the 2007 Medicare hysician fee schedule (PFS) than they did under the 2006 Medicare PFS. Subspecialty physicians realized an average gain in work RVUs of 13 percent under the 2007 Medicare PFS.
  • Malpractice premiums have declined in the region as a result of tort reform and the residual effects on the insurance provider market.
  • Malpractice expenses decreased in both Oregon and Washington: 27.5 and 8.0 percent respectively over 2007 report data.
  • Physician benefits expenses continue to increase as a result of premium increases and a challenging recruiting and retention environment that is forcing organizations to improve benefit offerings to remain competitive. Washington physician benefits expense per Full-time equivalent (FTE) increased to over $42,000, while Oregon physician benefits expense stabilized at just over $31,000 per FTE.
  • The majority of provider organizations are recruiting primary care physicians but are reporting significant challenges in filling open positions. The top three recruited specialties in the Northwest for the second year in a row include family practice without obstetrics, internal medicine and internal medicine – hospitalists.
  • Health-system-employed groups continue to experience significant losses (approximately 20 percent of collections), while independent groups are reserving between 0 and 9 percent of collections for working capital.

Address: ECG Management Consultants Inc., 1111 Third Ave., Suite 2700, Seattle, WA 98101; (206) 689-2200,

  This article was taken from:
The Executive Report on Physician Organizations

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