Quality and Satisfaction Play Larger Roles in Compensation

July 1, 2014
Laura Joszt

Although quality measures and patient satisfaction are still just a small part of physician compensation, they are increasing in importance.

Although quality measures are still just a small part of physician compensation, they are increasing, according to a report from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

Quality measures are only a slightly larger part of physician compensation for primary care physicians compared to specialists. According to the MGMA’s Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data, an average of 5.96% of primary care compensation is based on measure of quality, while 5.7% of specialist compensation is based on quality measures. These primary care physicians indicated they were not part of an accountable care organization or a patient-centered medical home.

A year ago just 3% of primary care physician compensation and 2% of specialist compensation were based on quality measures, according to the MGMA’s 2013 report.

“Physicians are committed to providing quality care to patients, so it’s not surprising that compensation methodologies are evolving to incorporate these metrics,” said Susan L. Turney, MD, MS, FACP, FACMPE, MGMA president and chief executive officer. “MGMA members, alongside clinicians, are continuing to determine and implement the processes, tools and procedures necessary to achieve high-quality, cost-effective care and aligning these efforts with compensation plans for physicians.”

Patient satisfaction is also playing a bigger role in compensation. While primary care physicians reported just a slight increase in the percentage of compensation tied to patient satisfaction, specialists reported 2.31% of compensation was, compared to just 1.61% in 2012.

Overall compensation increased slightly for both primary care and specialty care physicians, according to the MGMA survey results. In primary care, the median compensation was $232,989, while specialists reported a median compensation of $402,233.

The report included responses from 66,299 providers.