Physicians must weigh many factors when choosing solo private practice, independent group practice or hospital or health system employment. A new survey from Physicians Practice looks at the differences in how doctors in these various settings are paid and how likely they are to stick with their current circumstances or change them.
Physicians who identified themselves as owners or partners reported the highest earnings, with nearly 19 percent earning more than $450,000 per year. Nearly half of the physicians in this group (46 percent) said that their pay was based entirely on productivity, leading many to increase the number of patients they see in a day.
Physicians who were employees of independent practices or health systems reported more modest incomes. But doctors employed by health systems were the most likely to say they would continue working in the setting for the next year.
Physicians employed by health systems were the most likely to say all of their income comes from guaranteed salary--and most of the doctors in this group said some of their income was tied to patient satisfaction.
Despite the security that comes with employment, it does represent trade-offs that can be challenging for physicians when it comes not only to compensation but also to professional courtesy arrangements and the ability to make impromptu decisions, FierceHealthcare reported previously.
In addition to salary, income structure and satisfaction results, the Physicians Practice survey also reports on the number of doctors who accept Medicare and Medicaid and participate in exchange plans.