Primary-care docs on the short end of physician pay

Substantial differences in actual hourly and annual compensation exist across physician specialties, "with a number of specialties exhibiting compensation ratios exceeding 2:1 when compared to family medicine," according to "What if All Physician Services Were Paid Under the Medicare Fee Schedule? An Analysis Using Medical Group Management Association Data," a new report sponsored by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

The study, conducted by staff from the Urban Institute and the Medical Group Management Association Center for Research, simulated physician compensation as if all physician services were paid under the Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule and compared the results with the actual physician-reported compensation.

In the Medicare simulation, compensation ratios across specialties "narrowed very little overall," say the study authors. That result suggests that Fee Schedule payments are no more favorable to primary care than other payers' reimbursements.

However, "some specialties fare relatively well under simulated Medicare compensation. The nonsurgical, procedural specialties, particularly cardiology, continue to do relatively better under the Medicare Fee Schedule than under all-payer reimbursements that include Medicare. In contrast, surgical specialties do relatively less well under the Medicare Fee Schedule, although their compensation remains substantially greater than the primary care benchmark."

To learn more:
- read the report

Suggested Articles

The Department of Justice charged 345 people across 51 federal districts in the largest healthcare fraud takedown in the agency's history.

Cigna is launching its largest MA expansion to date in 2021, growing its geographic footprint into five new states and 67 new counties.

Insurance giant Anthem has reached a settlement with a group of State Attorney Generals over the historic 2015 hack into its computer network.