Primary care physician salary growth projected to outpace specialists in 2014

August 28, 2013

Primary care physicians may see slightly higher increases to their salaries than specialists next year, according to a recent report by the Hay Group.

Primary care physicians may see slightly higher increases to their salaries than specialists next year, according to a recent report by the Hay Group.

The 2013 Physician Compensation Prevalence and Planning Report projects a 2.5% increase is primary care salaries across all organizations, compared to the 2.3% increase in 2012. Specialists are projected to see a 2.3% increase, which is the same rate that they saw last year.  

“We have been seeing a slowdown in pay rate increases for physician specialists, and a bump up for generalists, over the last several years, and this trend seems to be continuing,” Jim Otto, senior principal in Hay Group’s Healthcare Practice, said in a press release.

That growth is even greater for primary care physicians in hospital-based settings, who are expected to see a 2.6% increase, while specialists in hospitals will likely see a 2.3% increase for the second year in a row.

Similar surveys have attributed this surge in salaries to the shortage of primary care physicians and their increased demand in anticipation of the Affordable Care Act implementation.

The Hay report also examined how physician group practices determine pay increases. Of those surveyed, 80% of group practices raise pay on an individual basis, while 20% raise pay based on a specific specialty. None of the physician group practices reported across the board as a pay increase determinant.  

The study, conducted by the Hay Group, a global management consulting firm, covers 132 physician specialties, including 39 pediatric specialties. The report also included 35 non-physician provider positions.