Practice managers start to see modest raises

After two years of relatively flat compensation, some medical practice managers are beginning to see raises, according to the Medical Group Management Association's (MGMA) "Management Compensation Survey: 2012 Report Based on 2011 Data."

In particular, the survey of more than 7,900 managers in 1,306 medical practices found that managers of groups with seven to 25 full-time-equivalent (FTE) physicians saw the biggest increase--4.8 percent--with a median income of $120,486. Managers of groups with 26 or more FTE doctors, however, suffered a 2.8 percent drop in pay. Those charged with running the smallest practices, with six or fewer FTE physicians, earned $88,117 in median compensation.

According to an MGMA statement, the data indicate "a potential trend of the need for exemplary practice management in practices of all sizes."

The results also pointed to the importance of life-long learning through professional affiliations, as fellows and certified members of the American College of Medical Practice Executives saw better raises than those who are not certified, Susan Turney, president and CEO of MGMA and its certifying body, the American College of Medical Practice Executives said in a statement.

When recruiting and compensating medical office managers, it's important to consider that job descriptions for this role may vary vastly from practice to practice and may evolve over time. In a recent post for Physicians Practice, for example, consultant George Conomikes recommended that all physicians, even within the same group practice, complete a "practice manager responsibilities profile" to determine which practice manager tasks are of the highest priority.

While such a tool can keep physicians and managers on the same page as to which tasks are the most important, it could also be used to assess a manager's full scope of responsibility and compensate him or her accordingly.

To learn more:
- read the press release from MGMA
- see the post from Physicians Practice