Income for primary care physicians on the rise

Income for primary care physicians is trending up.

Income for primary care physicians is trending in the right direction--up.

While the income gap between physicians in primary care and specialties still exists, forces are shifting favorably for those in primary care, according to Physicians Practice.

And more good news: That upward movement should only continue in the future, the report says. The move toward value-based care and Medicare reimbursement under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) should be good for primary care physicians’ compensation, a number of experts told the publication.

“MACRA [begins] the shift toward recognizing team-based care and payment for non-face-to-face services, [care] coordination and efficient, high-quality healthcare," said John Meigs Jr., M.D., a family-medicine physician in Centreville, Alabama and president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. 

Physicians who are in a patient-centered medical homes, especially, will have a chance to make more money than in the past for coordinating patients’ care, Kurt Mosely, vice president of strategic alliances for the physician recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins, told the publication.

But for physicians who have seen decreased revenues in their practices and are waiting for value-based care to increase their income, experts had some advice, including renegotiating compensation, banding together with other group practices and keeping an eye on what's important, such as career satisfaction.