Group-Based MDs to See Larger Salary Increase

Physicians in group-based practices can expect to see slightly larger pay increases for 2014 than those in hospital-based settings, and primary care physicians will continue to see higher salary increases, as well.

Physicians in group-based practices can expect to see slightly larger pay increases for 2014 than those in hospital-based settings, according to survey results.

Hay Group’s 2013 Physician Compensation Survey revealed that overall physicians can expect median salary increases of 2.4% for 2014. Those in group practices can expect pay increases of 3.7%, while hospital-based physicians can expect 2.2%.

Hay Group doesn’t expect to see any real changes in compensation levels in the future, although they will continue to modestly increase, according to Jim Otto, senior principal in Hay Group’s Healthcare Practice.

Once again, primary care physicians can expect to see higher salary increases, which has been a recent trend, especially since implementation of the Affordable Care Act will put PCPs in higher demand. Particularly, PCPs in hospital-based settings will see salary increases.

“We have been seeing a slowdown in pay rate increases for physician specialists, and a bump up for generalists, over the last several years, and this trend seems to be continuing,” Otto said in a statement. “This may be reflective of fewer graduates pursuing general medicine and additional responsibilities for generalists in driving pay-for-performance health care. The question remains if and how declining hospital revenues and reimbursement changes will affect physician pay.”

The Hay Group study found that incentive payouts for physicians reflect the shift to quality and patient outcomes. Incentive plan metrics are increasingly factoring patient satisfaction, outcomes and quality. Overall, roughly 63% of physicians had an annual incentive plan, which is similar to last year.

“We expect an evolution — not revolution — in incentive plan design for physicians in coming years,” Otto said. “Providers are looking to translate their organizational goals in a more tangible way that will drive the desired behaviors and outcomes they want to achieve. They are still struggling with the best ways to align physicians and other employees with broader goals, and to measure output quality.”