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Patient mix, low reimbursement keep geriatric compensation low

Demographics suggest that geriatricians should be doing pretty well-their patient base is growing and will continue to do so as the percentage of the population over 65 years old increases at an unprecedented pace. However, the makeup of geriatricians' patient base contributes to their woes, as a heavy reliance on Medicare reimbursement has kept compensation stagnant and dissuaded new physicians from entering the field. Compensation grew only 1.6% for geriatric physicians between 2004 and 2005, climbing from $160,340 to $162,977, according to the 2006 MGMA Physician Compen-sation and Production Survey, based on 2005 data.