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Physician Compensation Overview

by Patricia O. Urquiaga | Nov 05, 2020 | Physicians, #physiciansalary, compensationrates, coronavirus, covid-19, health, Healthcare, newhirecompensation, nonphysicianprovidercompensation, physiciancompensation, physicianjobs, providercompensation, salary, selfemployedphysicians, specialistcompensation, topearningstates
Physician Compensation Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of uncertainty this year.

Despite this, top healthcare organizations MGMA and Medscape were able to put together and release their 2020 physician compensation and production reports – based on a combination of 2018, 2019 and 2020 data.

Let’s recap some of the report’s key findings:

Physician and Specialist Compensation Continue to Grow

  • Primary care physician (PCP) compensation grew 2.5% (from $237,000-$243,000) between 2018-2019
  • Specialist compensation grew 1.5% (from $341,000-$346,000) between 2018-2019
  • The largest salary increases were led by urgent care ($259,661 to $277,393) and pulmonary specialists ($385,024 to $406,245)
  • The top 5 increases in total compensation for established healthcare providers between 2018 and 2019 were:
    • Psychiatry (7.69%)
    • Urgent Care (6.83%)
    • Pulmonary Medicine (5.51%)
    • Internal Medicine (4%)
    • Urology (3.85%)

Physicians Still Feel Fairly Compensated

  • The top 5 physicians include:
    • Oncology, Emergency Medicine and Radiology at 67%
    • Psychiatry and Otolaryngology at 66%

Non-Physician Provider Compensation Continues to Grow and Practices are Seeing an Increase in Profitability

  • Non-physician provider (NPP) compensation grew 2.13% from 2018 to 2019; more specifically:
    • Non-surgical/non-primary nurse practitioner (NP) $108,861
    • Primary care NP $109,925
    • Primary care physician assistant (PA) $112,924
    • Non-surgical/non-primary care PA $116,656
    • Surgical NP $116,964
    • Surgical PA $129,183
  • Practices mentioned that they’ve seen an 47% increase in profitability by having PAs and NPs see and care for patients with less complex medical conditions

New Hire Compensation Has Increased

  • The top 6 specialties include:
    • Cardiology (non-invasive) 15.38%
    • Gastroenterology 14.29%
    • OB/GYN 4.68%
    • General Surgery 3.70%
    • Radiology (diagnostic) 3.69%
    • Neurology 3.19%

Male PCPs and Specialists Continue to Earn More Than Females But The Number of Female Specialists are Starting to Rise

  • Male PCPs earn 25% more than female PCPs
  • Male specialists earn 31% more than female specialists
  • Since 2015 the number of women specialist has been increasing – to date, here are the top 8 specialties:
    • OB/GYN (increase from 50 to 58%)
    • Pediatrics (increase from 50 to 58%)
    • Dermatology (increase from 32 to 49%)
    • Family Medicine (increase from 35 to 43%)
    • Urology (increase from 8 to 10%)
    • Orthopedics (increase from 9 to 11%)
    • Cardiology (increase from 12 to 16%)
    • Plastic Surgery (increase from 16 to 18%)

The Southern and Western Regions Still Hold The Largest Compensation Rates

  • The largest compensation rates for established physicians continues to be the southern and western regions of the U.S.

The Top 5 Earning States for Physicians Are:

  • Kentucky $346,000
  • Tennessee $338,000
  • Florida $333,000
  • Alabama $332,000
  • Utah $328,000

Self-Employed Physicians Earn 20% More Than Employed Physicians

  • 41% of self-employed physicians are 45 years or older versus 21% who are younger than 45

“Insurance” Remains the Number One Payment Model

  • Insurance remains the number one payment model physicians accept with 74%
  • While cash-only and concierge practices continue to be a rising trend, these payment models are still only used by 7% of physicians

Incentive Bonuses Continue to Encourage Physicians to Work Longer Hours

  • The average incentive bonus per physician is 13% of their total salary; orthopedists and otolaryngologists are among the top 2 specialists earning the highest incentives
  • Between 32-34% of physicians and specialists said an incentive bonus has encouraged them to work longer hours

COVID-19 Made An Impact

  • On average, practices reported a 55% decrease in revenue and 60% decrease in patient volume since the start of COVID-19
  • Since March 2020, a reported 43K healthcare providers were laid off
  • Telehealth has increased by 225%

To view the full reports, visit: 2020 MGMA Provider Compensation and Production Report and Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2020

*The 2020 MGMA Provider Compensation and Production Report utilized data from more than 168,000 physicians and non-physician providers (NPPs) in over 6,300 healthcare organizations.  

*The Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2020 utilized data from more than 17,000 physicians in over 30 specialties.

For more on physician compensation, take a look at our FREE physician jobs guide.


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