Thursday, June 14, 2007

Physician Executive Pay

Here is a look at what physician execs made last year!

Medical Director - $216,000
Chief Executive Officer - $240,000
Vice President of Medical Affairs - $243,000
President of Medical Staff - $235,000
Program director - $220,000
Chief Medical information officer - $220,000
CEO/President - $301,000
Chief Medical Officer - $265,000

(salaries are rounded)

The average physician exec makes $240,000 according to a 2006 Cejka search compensation survey. Not too shabby! However, these professionals earn their keep. Often, the hours are long and stressful! Many sacrifices are made including free time with the family. I am considering becoming a physician exec after practicing medicine for a few years. I think the combination of business and medicine can lead to a rewarding as well as lucrative career!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Locum Tenens

What is Locum Tenens? It is an employment arrangement where a physician contracts usually through a third party to cover for physicians in their specialty. These are temporary arrangements usually because the "regular" physician wants to go to a conference or on vacation and is not part of a group. Most locum tenens positions are made available through intermediary agencies, and pay will vary with the agency and your ability to negotiate with them. One such company,, states the following about pay rates:

"It depends on your medical specialty and the job description. Most
locum tenens companies pay the physician as an independent contractor
on a per diem basis. Some contracts are based on an hourly scale,
overtime and on-call time are paid at time and a half after a 40-hour
workweek. Here's some examples of pay scales by specialty:

SPECIALTY INCOME (per 8-hour day)

CRNA $720 to $880
Family Practice $400 to $450
Internal Medicine $400 to $450
Pediatrics $400 to $430
OB/GYN $600 to $800
Hospitalist $520 to $760
General Surgeon $650 to $750
Orthopedic Surgeon $800 to $900
Neurosurgeon $1,300 to $1,400
Anesthesiologist $1,000 to $1,500
Psychiatrist $500 to $600
Radiologist $1,200 to $1,500
Cardiologist $600 to $750

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Physician salaries outpace production in 2006

So far in 2006, if the benchmark measure is inflation, then physician salaries are above that line, and work RVUs (relative value units) are below that indicator. RVUs are used by CMS and other payers to determine the payment rate for physician services. According to the Medical Group Compensation & Financial Survey, groups report an overall increase in RVUs of 3 percent. Physician compensation, on the other hand, has increased 7.2 percent.

Medicare's proposed 5.1 percent decrease in payment, coupled with the continuing rise in health care costs, is a challenge that groups will need to address. Insurers should expect compensation formulas to become more complex as medical groups try to create incentives for cost control and quality components.

The following specialists saw significant compensation increases: primary care physicians, cardiologists, dermatologists, and noninterventional radiologists.

Physician compensation and work RVUs, 2005–2006
Source: American Medical Group Association. 2006 Medical Group Compensation & Financial Survey

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Nice article from the SCCM - Critical Care Salaries

The careers of critical care professionals have been shaped significantly by changes in reimbursement methods, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rulings, a shortage of trained critical care personnel staff and advances in technology. To assist the critical care community in managing the challenges of an ever-changing environment, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) conducted its first comprehensive study of the compensation of these professionals. Results and analyses of the survey were published in Compensation of Critical Care Professionals, which is available from SCCM.

The survey studied four different critical care professional groups: physicians, nurses, pharmacists and respiratory therapists. It compared the salaries and benefits of these professionals while taking into account numerous factors, including gender, geographic location, experience level, hospital type and location, certifications and area of specialty.

The physician section of the study examined eight critical care positions in detail. The responsibilities associated with different positions within the physician group varied drastically and resulted in different compensation levels. The average base salary range for physicians stretched from $147,059 to $263,068 a year. The range proved the largest variation in salary among all the surveyed groups.

In addition to surveying base salaries, the study also examined total annual compensation for critical care professionals to provide a more complete picture of the monetary compensation received by the surveyed professionals. The biggest differences between total annual compensation and base salary in dollar amount and in percentage was in the physician group. Among the physicians surveyed, the average base salary was $195,500 a year, while total annual compensation averaged $226,895 a year. More than 13.8% of the group’s annual monetary compensation came from sources other than base salary.

Many factors influence the compensation of critical care professionals, and a comprehensive collection of easily quantified factors was examined in the study. Some of the factors investigated, such as years of post-training experience and primary place of employment, had strong, positive correlations with compensation in all positions. Other factors showed differing influences on compensation for various positions, producing negative and positive correlations. Data collected on the critical care staff physician position showed that as physicians gained post-training critical care experience, their average salaries increased until they gained 20 years of experience or more. Then, the average salary decreased from $263,462 a year for 15 to 20 years of experience, to an average of $254,605 a year. Using the same example, the study found that critical care staff physicians employed at a university or university-affiliated hospital earned an average salary of $168,112 a year, while critical care staff physicians employed by a non-university or non-university-affiliated hospital reported an average salary of $239,904 a year.

Unlike monetary compensation, employee benefits related less to an individual’s demographic traits and experience level and more to key characteristics of the workplace. Consequently, benefits were not examined within the context of the respondent’s positions. Instead, they were considered in terms of significant workplace factors, such as primary place of employment and number of hospital beds. The study revealed that the greatest percentage, 30%, of all respondents received between $1,000 and $2,499 a year from their employer as a contribution to their continuing medical education (CME) allowances. While it is a small sample, almost 41% of physicians employed by a non-critical care, single-specialty practice group received an allowance of $1,000 to $2,400 a year, and only 25.3% of those employed by a critical care specialty group received the same CME allowance.

Compensation levels in the critical care community then were compared to the compensation of those who were in the same professional role, but not employed in critical care. Data from the American Medical Group Association’s (AMGA) 18th annual compensation and productivity survey suggested that critical care anesthesiologists and critical care non-trauma surgeons were under-compensated when compared to their colleagues in general fields. This raised questions and may require more study because sample sizes were not the same.

Iqbal Ratnani, MD, an intensivist at Memorial Hermann Health Care System in Houston, Texas, participated in the survey. He said that while critical care medicine involves stress and long hours, the reward is more than monetary compensation. “I’m not sure that salaries ever compensate for that adequately,” he said. “But the best part of the job is the satisfaction of helping people. You see a patient in the (emergency room) who you think will die, but 24 hours later that same patient is sitting up in bed eating. Literally, you are able to see that you saved someone’s life.”

The Society’s survey yielded reasonable estimates and useful analyses of the compensation levels for critical care professionals. However, many factors contribute to a critical care professional’s compensation, such as the individual’s unique qualifications and the employer’s approach to compensation and rewards. Some of those factors are difficult to measure and even harder to study quantitatively. Therefore, data and analyses from this study should be used in conjunction with other sources that also provide information about monetary compensation and benefits for critical care professionals.

Practitioners may use the study’s findings to find how their salaries and benefits compare to those of practitioners with similar job titles and experience levels. Employers may use the findings to ensure that they offer competitive salaries and benefits.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hospitalist Salaries

Hospitalists are the craze! I'm starting my internal medicine residency this July and I'm now considering being a hospitalist. Not so much because they make a great salary - they don't! But what I like about the hospitalist set-up is that there are a variety of practice models you can follow: one week on, one week off, or four days on, and then 3 days off, etc. This can translate into a lot of free time! I love my free time. Granted, you work hard when you are on and you can work upwards of 80 hours a week, but the flip side is that you rarely have to take call in those set-ups. Again, so my free time is mine! Hospitalists make decent bank. A few of the hospitalist companies that I contacted (as well as close friends going through the job hunt process) told me that a typical base salary in a private practice group (non-academic) was around $150,000. Now, this may or may not be a lot to you, but considering I have a huge amount of medical school debt, it doesn't sound like a whole lot to me! Now, here's the sweet part of being a hospitalist - the incentive bonuses. These can range from another $10,000 to $60,000+ depending on how hard you want to work. So, the 150k is guaranteed if you see say 15 patients a day. Let's say you see twenty patients and throw in a couple procedures, you are likely to get your bonus. There are some hospitalists with base salary + bonus that are clearing $300,000 a year! And that's for 2 weeks of (hard) work a month! Just something to think about if you are considering medicine as a career.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Physician Salaries...Why do we care?

Americans are interested in physician salaries...or maybe its just me! To provide the most accurate and complete assessment of the "averages" that physicians can look forward to, I've compiled this list of medical specialties and their respective average salaries. I used multiple sources of information to ensure the most accurate national averages you can find on the web! These numbers don't include bonuses or other benefits.

-W/ Experience

- Pain Management
Critical Care
Emergency Medicine
Family Practice
Infectious Diseases
Internal Medicine
IM - Hospitalist
Occupational Med.
Physical Medicine
Radiation Oncology

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