New Medical Group Data Finds Continued Financial Losses In Most Regions, Average Increase In Physician Compensation At 3.8%

August 3, 2010

According to findings in the American Medical Group Association's 2010 Medical Group Compensation & Financial Survey, most specialties saw modest increases in compensation in 2009, but many provider organizations continue to operate at a significant loss.

The survey found that 76% of the specialties experienced increases in compensation in 2009, with the overall average increase around 3.8% (in 2008, when 81% experienced an average increase around 3.5%). The primary care specialties (excluding hospitalists) saw about a 3.8% increase in 2009 (same in 2008), while other medical specialties averaged an increase of 2.4% and surgical specialties averaged around 3.8%. (The primary care specialties saw about a 3.8% increase in 2008, while other medical and surgical specialties averaged 6%). The survey reports that during 2009, the specialties experiencing the largest increases in compensation were pulmonary disease (10.37%), dermatology (7%), and urology (6.36%).

"The survey indicates that compensation continues to fluctuate only marginally for most specialties," said Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, President/CEO of AMGA. "The modest increases seen this year reflect the negative impact of declining reimbursements, competition for specialists, the cost of new technology, and other factors on practice revenues in most parts of the country."

The section of the survey that examines financial operations found that medical groups were still faced with significant financial challenges. Most regions were doing better than in 2008, but margins are thin. In 2009, organizations in the Eastern and Western regions were operating at break even. Organizations in the Southern region continue to operate at a loss (-1,034 per physician in 2009, -$120 per physician in 2008). Groups in the Northern region continued to experience significant losses (-9,943 per physician in 2009, -$3,254 per physician in 2008).

"In the face of the current economic climate, these medical groups continue to rise to the challenge of delivering the highest quality, coordinated care to the patients they serve," commented Fisher. "Much of the losses we see in 2009 are supplemented by other nonclinical revenue sources and/or funding from health systems with which groups are associated. Most of the groups represented in the survey are part of large organized systems of care that make substantial investments in technology, operations, and the most innovative care processes to best serve populations under their care, and are able to achieve remarkable results for their patients. Our current transaction-based reimbursement system is largely indifferent to these results and to the efforts of medical groups to elevate the standard of care in the US. Currently AMGA is working to address the inequities of the current payment model as part of overall healthcare reform and to develop a model that incorporates a substantial component reflecting achievement of quality results."

The AMGA 2010 Medical Group Compensation & Financial Survey gives a complete financial picture of medical group operations in one volume, providing compensation, productivity, and financial operations data from approximately 49,700 healthcare providers throughout the US, including 121 specialties, 31 other healthcare provider positions, and 27 administrative positions. The survey data includes starting salaries by specialty; medians, means, and percentiles; compensation/productivity ratios; and comparative data from previous surveys, as well as providing analysis by group size and geographic region. In the financial section, profiles are provided per physician FTE, square footage, and work RVU. In addition to staffing profiles, the financial data includes medians, capitation impact, accounts receivable analysis, and department level analysis. A section examines data specific to the academic/faculty practice environment.

About McGladrey
The 23rd annual AMGA compensation and financial survey was conducted by the national accounting firm of McGladrey. McGladrey is the brand under which RSM McGladrey, Inc. and McGladrey & Pullen, LLP service clients' business needs. Together, they rank as the fifth largest U.S. provider of assurance, tax and consulting services with 7,000 professionals and associates in nearly 90 offices. The two firms operate as separate legal entities in an alternative practice structure. McGladrey & Pullen is a licensed CPA firm that provides assurance services. RSM McGladrey is a leading professional services firm providing tax and consulting services. Both firms are members of RSM International, the sixth largest global network of independent accounting, tax and consulting firms. For more information, visit:

About AMGA
The American Medical Group Association represents medical groups, including some of the nation's large st, most prestigious medical practices, independent practice associations, and integrated healthcare delivery systems. AMGA's mission is to improve health care for patients by supporting multi-specialty medical groups and other organized systems of care. The members of AMGA deliver health care to approximately 106 million patients in 49 states, nearly 1 in 3 Americans. Headquartered in Alexandria VA, AMGA is the strategic partner for medical groups, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs and publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance.For more information, visit

SOURCE: American Medical Group Association