Managers say fewer than half of doctors at their organizations are happy with their compensation packages

Many doctors are unhappy with their compensation, a new survey suggests.

Fewer than half (48%) of respondents to a recent poll say the physicians at their organization are happy with their compensation packages.

About 32% of 1,100 respondents said physicians were not satisfied and 20% were unsure, according to the Medical Group Management Association Stat poll. 

The MGMA Stat polls are texted to healthcare professionals, including a mix of practice managers and physicians.

Why the dissatisfaction? Many respondents said physicians don't think reimbursement is fair compared to their administrative burdens, wrote Kenneth T. Hertz, principal consultant with the MGMA’s Health Care Consulting Group.

Asking doctors about their compensation plan is slightly different than asking about their salary, Hertz said. "With increasing cost structures and evolving and declining reimbursement trends, the nexus of the two trend lines often results in declining compensation for physicians.” 

RELATED: The top 10 most in-demand physician specialties and their salaries

Physicians are spending more time on electronic health records, which impacts how many patients they can see each day, limiting the opportunity to increase their compensation. The amount of time spent with EHRs is a cost concern, particularly for small practices.

Reduced patient volume because of the new technology could be financially devastating for these smaller groups.

RELATED: Small practices face major barriers to EHR adoption, study says

“Nobody likes to earn less year after year,” Hertz said.

So practice administrators should ensure they have the right compensation plan in place. Ironically, if everyone is a little bit unhappy, it probably means the compensation plan is equitable for everyone, he added. If medical group managers are thinking of changing their current plan, they should talk with physicians first.