Compensation Remains a Sore Spot
While family practitioners are in high demand, their average base salaries or guaranteed incomes of $185,000 remain near the bottom. Only pediatricians fared worse with an average base of $179,000.
"A key factor that people have to understand is that primary care is not necessarily growing in salary, but more specialties are coming down closer to them," Mosley says. "We used to talk about cardiologists in the $800,000 to $900,000 range. Now they are in the $500,000s and $600,000s. Also doctors in medical homes can make a heck of a lot more money because they are paid that base salary and they are paid a maintenance fee and they are paid the malady improvement fee. There are ways for doctors to make money. We are going to see it continue to rise."
Seventy-five percent of search assignments this year featured a salary with production bonus. Most such bonuses (57%) are based on a Relative Value Units formula. A growing number of production formulas also feature quality-based metrics. For example, 39% of the search assignments offered production bonuses that featured a quality-based component, up from 35% a year earlier.
By comparison, in 2011, fewer than 7% of recruiting assignments that offered a production bonus included payments based on quality-of-care metrics. In 2013 that number grew to 39%, which Mosley says illustrates the rapid shift away from rewarding physicians for the volume of services they provide and toward rewarding them for the value of services they provide.