Certain specialty doctors in high demand

As hospitals try to make the transition to accountable care, physicians in certain specialties are in high demand, Becker's Hospital Review reports.

To meet accountable care organization requirements, organizations must have at least 5,000 beneficiaries managed by primary-care physicians, who will oversee care management and direct services. In addition, their power of referral, which can direct patients to the hospital's facilities, makes them treasured assets. So it's critical to integrate primary-care physicians.

Because the market could be short 150,000 physicians over the next 10 to 15 years, hospitals that want to snap up physicians will have to offer attractive salaries. The average total annual compensation for an internal medicine specialist runs about $265,000, a survey conducted by physician search firm Merritt Hawkins determined.

The other specialties in high demand are rainmaker areas such as cardiology, neurosurgery and orthopedics. Nearly one-third of cardiologists surveyed by the American College of Cardiology said they will join, or have already joined, a hospital staff. Heart docs will cost hospitals a lot more. The most recent average annual compensation for a cardiologist was $584,000, according to the survey.

As Boomers age and become more brittle, orthopedic specialists also will be in high demand. Their average annual compensation runs around $404,000, while that of a neurosurgeon runs about $571,000.

The compensation packages may seem hefty, but hospital managers should take into consideration that these rainmakers will help their organizations earn five to 10 times more in revenue from employed physicians than the salaries you pay them, according to Hospital Review.

To learn more:
- read these articles from Hospital Review: article 1 and article 2
- here's the Merritt Hawkins survey

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