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MGMA: Physician Compensation Grew in 2019

Analysis  |  By Jack O'Brien  
   May 22, 2020

The results were released one week after a Medscape report on physician compensation.

Physician compensation rose for those in the primary care and specialty spaces in 2019, according to the 31st annual Provider Compensation and Production Report released by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Thursday.

The average compensation for primary care physicians rose 2.6% last year, totaling $273,437. Meanwhile, urgent care and pulmonary specialists had the largest salary increases for physician specialists, at 6.83% and 5.51%, respectively.

The study indicated that the highest paid primary care physicians were in West Virginia, while Vermont had the lowest paid physicians in the country.

Additionally, the report found that compensation for nonphysician practitioners (NPP) rose over 2% from 2018 to 2019.

Surgical physician assistants led the way with an average annual salary of $129,183, followed by surgical nurse practitioners at $116,964 and nonsurgical/nonprimary care physician assistants at $116,656.

Related: Physician Compensation Rises Across Most Specialties

Despite the compensation increases over the course of the past two years, MGMA acknowledged the forward-looking uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. 

In mid-April, MGMA survey found that nearly all physician practices have experienced a negative financial impact from the coronavirus outbreak.

"With 1.4 million healthcare workers furloughed in the last month alone, this 2019 compensation data will serve as a baseline for benchmarking 2020 operations in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic," Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, MMM, FAAP, FACMPE, CEO of MGMA, said in a statement. "COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the healthcare industry with productivity halting for many medical practices. Compensation models will look different in the near future based on shifting productivity and demands on physicians and the healthcare industry overall."

Related: Vancouver Clinic CEO Says Multispecialty Group Faces 'Uphill Battle' Against COVID-19

The results were also released one week after a Medscape report on physician compensation.

Given the widespread cancellation of elective surgeries at hospitals across the country in order to handle the influx of patients infected with COVID-19, the Medscape report stated that patient volumes have declined by 60% since early March.

Physicians, which earned an average of 13% in incentive bonuses based off "patient volume and productivity," face continued challenges related to the outbreak. Additionally, Medscape found that one-in-10 physician practices have closed because of the pandemic.

Related: Physician Compensation Rose Again But COVID-19 Expected to 'Dramatically Alter Landscape'

Related: Physician Assistant Pay Topped $113K Before Coronavirus Cut Hours and Jobs

Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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