A Profile on Physician Practice Trends

July 11, 2014
Laura Joszt

Nearly half of physician respondents to a survey from Jackson Healthcare reported their compensation decreased from 2013 to 2014.

Nearly half of physician respondents to a survey from Jackson Healthcare reported their compensation decreased from 2013 to 2014. Just 12% reported compensation increase, while the remainder cited no change.

According to the data from Jackson Healthcare’s report, physicians who said their income decreased are more likely to own or retain an ownership stake in a single specialty practice. Those whose income increased are more likely to specialize in hospital-based medicine.

Furthermore, physicians who reported income decreased in the last year are more likely to they will not remain in private practice because the overhead costs are too high.

The proportion of hospital-employed primary care physicians increase from 10% in 2012 to 20% in 2014, while those with an ownership stake in a single-specialty practice decreased from 12% to 7%.

More than a third cited administrative hassle of owning a practice as a reason why they chose employment. A third said they want to be a doctor, not a businessperson.

“For physicians who left private practice, the majority attributed their decision to high overhead costs,” Sheri Sorrell and Keith Jennings reported. “Reimbursement cuts, lack of resources to comply with ACA requirements and the administrative hassles of ownership were other significant reasons cited.”

Just 18% of physician respondents reported working 8-hour days, while 61% work between 9 and 12 hours. According to the responses, physicians see 22 patients per day and spend 20 minutes with each patient. Those who take hospital shifts see/rounded on 13 patients during a shift.

Two-thirds of hospital-based specialists said that the amount of time they spend with patients decreased since 2013, although most overall physicians said the number of patients they see during a single hospital shift is the same as last year.

“The shift from private practice to employment continues,” the authors wrote. “And the ripple effects of this trend continue to impact physician satisfaction, compensation, practice environment, workload and patient access.”