Family doctor compensation relatively healthy: survey

Another survey reports a relatively large increase in compensation for family physicians in 2011. Primary care overall fared better than other medical and surgical specialties. Get the details here.

Family physicians saw a 5.13% increase in compensation in 2011, among the largest reported in the recently released results of the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) 2012 Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey.

The news was good for those practicing in primary care areas of medicine overall; they saw about a 4% increase, whereas other medical specialties averaged an increase of 2.8% and surgical specialties averaged around 3.4%.

In addition to family medicine, other specialties with relatively large compensation increases were hematology and medical oncology (7.13%), hypertension and nephrology (6.99%), and urgent care (5.17%).

The survey found that many provider organizations continue to operate at a significant loss, and although 79% of specialties saw increases in compensation in 2011, most increases were marginal.

“In the face of the current challenging economic climate, multispecialty medical groups and other organized systems of care continue to rise to the challenge of delivering the highest quality, coordinated care to the patients they serve," commented Donald W. Fisher, PhD, CAE, president and chief executive officer of AMGA. “The data from the survey provide more evidence that the current Medicare system for the reimbursement and financing of healthcare is unsustainable. AMGA continues to advocate for changes in the Medicare reimbursement system, including a shift from volume-based to value-base payment models.”

The AMGA survey provides date on compensation, productivity, and financial operations from healthcare providers throughout the United States, including 124 specialties, 32 other healthcare provider positions, and 28 administrative positions. The data include responses from 225 medical groups representing 55,800 providers (55.6% of groups report more than 100 physicians).

The national consulting firm Sullivan, Cotter and Associates Inc. conducted the survey for the AMGA.

The AMGA represents large medical groups, independent practice associations, and integrated healthcare delivery systems that collectively deliver healthcare to about 130 million patients in 49 states, more than one in three Americans.

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