Survey offers a peek at the state of primary care practice finances

Average salaries among primary care practitioners generally showed a modestly positive trend, while sentiments about the overall state of practice finances remained largely in line with those expressed in previous years, according to an article released by Medical Economics.

In advance of the release of the publication's 87th annual physician report, the magazine released survey data related to financial elements of practices, including salary and productivity trends. The numbers are based on an online survey of just more than 2,000 actitve practitoners. Here are some highlights:

  • In terms of overall finances, nearly half the doctors surveyed indicated their practices were about as well off this year as they were last year. The percentage of physicians seeing improved finances in their practices rose from 15 percent in 2013 to 22 percent in 2014, while those stating they were worse off fell by nine percentage points to 30 percent.
  • Salaries in southern states averaged highest in the survey, possibly reflecting ongoing efforts to attract primary care physicians to rural areas, as FiercePracticeManagement has previously reported.
  • Most specialties saw average salary increases, including a modest uptick for family practice physicians and hospitalists. Emergency/acute care specialists reported the largest bump in salary, while psychiatrists' salaries remained neutral and dermatologists saw a substantial decrease in earnings.
  • Salary data highlight a persistent gender gap, with median earnings of $238,000 for male physicians, compared to $188,000 for females.
  • Notwithstanding widespread concerns about burnout, the average number of patient visits per week has decreased since 2010 for both general practitioners and internists, while survey data also indicate median hours worked have remained relatively stable.

To learn more:
- here's the article