Primary Care Gaining in Physician Compensation

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media , November 26, 2012

"The thing medical groups need to consider today is that they are competing on a national level more today than ever for new physicians entering the marketplace," says Evenson. "So if you're looking to recruit physicians, it's no longer a situation that you're measuring against within your state or your region to attract physicians. You really have to consider the mobility of physicians."

The MGMA survey this year added data comparing provider's starting compensation packages, as well as trends from 2006 to 2011 within median starting salaries among specialty and primary care physicians. It also contains data from 2009 to 2011 on median starting salaries by group type. The MGMA-ACMPE (American College of Medical Practice Executives) conducts the survey in collaboration with the National Association of Physician Recruiters (NAPR). The 2012 survey reported starting salary information from 749 groups and 4,600 positions. MGMA has been producing this compensation survey since 2003, but has been collecting physician compensation data for over thirty years.

The survey breaks down physician placement location trends geographically by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regions. From 2009 to 2011, HHS Region 4 (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, and TN) and HHS Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, and WI) have made the most physician placements, but the trend growth is beginning to slow, according to the survey. Slight declines in physician placements have occurred since 2009 in HHS Regions 1, 2, 4, 7, and 8. By state, the highest numbers of physician placements (more than 300) are occurring in California. In a comparison of placements versus relocations, HHS Region 2 (NJ and NY) had the largest difference between physicians relocating to the area versus leaving.

Chelsea Rice is an associate editor for HealthLeaders Media.
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