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MGMA: Physician Compensation Increasingly Based on Quality Measures

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 14, 2013

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Physician/Specialists Compensation, 2008-2012 (PDF)

"You don't want to be on the cutting edge. You want to be just behind the cutting edge as it relates to how you change your compensation strategies," he says. "It wouldn't be very effective if you were being paid 90% fee-for-service and paid 50% on quality to your teams of providers. The math wouldn't work in your favor."

Physician Compensation

The report also reaffirmed that median compensation for physicians fluctuated by specialty. Primary care physicians reported $216,462 in median compensation in 2012, and specialists reported $388,199 in median compensation. Evenson says the considerable gap in compensation could prove difficult to overcome, even with a concerted push to get more medical school students to take up primary care.

"The last data I had a chance to look at as I looked towards family practitioners just coming out of residency was something like 40% had over $200,000 in debt. And when we see that coupled with the median compensation for a family practitioner this year was right around that $205,000, it ends up being where there is definitely a constraint that is worth noting," Evenson says.

"We and others in the health industry understand the importance of this. The demand for primary care physicians is going to continue to increase but we have seen that kind of differential between primary care and specialty care compensation. We've even seen a number of advocacy efforts from a number of organizations (to improve primary care compensation) and that continues to evolve, but unfortunately it has remained at a static pace as a ratio of one related to the other. We did see some narrowing of that gap over the last few years, but I have seen that stagnate."

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