|Specialty Physician Compensation Barely Keeps Up With Inflation, Says MGMA
Specialty physicians’ overall compensation
remained flat in 2007, (increasing just 0.31 percent, adjusted for
inflation, or 3.16 percent without inflation), according to the Medical
Group Management Association (MGMA) Physician Compensation and
Production Survey: 2008 Report Based on 2007 Data.
Specialists’ compensation rose to a median of
$332,450. Inflation amounts to a 2.85 percent increase in the consumer
For primary care physicians, median compensation rose
3.35 percent over inflation (6.3 percent without inflation) to $182,322
in 2007. This nominal increase comes after several years of flat or
declining compensation. Additionally, primary care physicians reported
a 7.59 percent increase in production (gross charges). Specialists
reported flat overall production rates (.60 percent).
Among specialists, invasive cardiologists’
compensation declined (a 0.18 percent loss) even before inflation.
Conversely, noninvasive cardiologists’ compensation increased
Compensation for emergency medicine physicians and
hematology/oncology also failed to keep up with inflation. Specialists
who fared better included anesthesiologists posting a 6.43 percent
increase above inflation and urologists posting a gain of 5.5 percent
above inflation – compounding a similar gain in 2006.
"Although primary care physicians posted modest gains in
compensation as a result of increased productivity and reweighting of
evaluation and management codes, overall practice costs continue to
rise at staggering rates," said Dr. William F. Jessee, president and
CEO of MGMA. "The continued uncertainty of the reimbursement
environment creates an untenable situation for physician groups."
MGMA observed that trends have shifted for primary care
physician compensation in specific regions. Historically, physicians in
the Southern section of the United States have reported slightly higher
compensation than the national median of their peers in other regions.
For the first time, primary care physicians in the Western section were
more highly compensated in 2007.
Address: Medical Group Management Association, 104 Inverness Terrace East, Englewood, CO 80112; (303) 799-1111, www.mgma.com.