MEDICAL ECONOMICS: Compensation top concern for most physicians, survey says —

By Cody Erbacher

Page-16JULY 25, 2013 – More than half of the physicians questioned in the 2013 Physician Practice Preference Survey said compensation is their greatest career concern.

According to the survey conducted by The Medicus Firm, just 32.8% of physicians were satisfied with their 2012 compensation.

The rest of the physician pool reported earnings that did not match the workload, except for the minority (2.6%) that were beyond satisfied with their income.

That’s causing nearly one-third (27.8%) of physicians to consider a career change, according to the survey, which accounted for a total of 2,568 physicians representing 19 specialties in 50 states.

The problem isn’t just going to disappear, either.

Almost three-fourths of physicians anticipate that their 2013 income will remain about the same, or decrease from their 2012 earnings.

What’s the major cause limiting income?

Thirty percent of physicians say its reimbursement; while just over 12% say the main factor limiting income is changes stemming from healthcare reform.

For these reasons, nearly one-third (30.7%) of in-practice physicians say that financial reward is the biggest single factor in making a change in practice status. While 24.2% say the quality of the practice is a viable option for change.

The practice setting that appeals to physicians the most is  single-specialty group/partnership. That option accounts for 28.4% of the in-practice physicians surveyed.

Although in-practice physicians favor the single-specialty group, 28.1% of in-training physicians prefer to be hospital employed.

A hospital practice setting does appeal to the in-practice physician, though.

And the statistics backup that theory.

About one in every five physicians say they would prefer a hospital setting, while 24.6% of the physicians surveyed said they closed/left private practice, or plan to in 2013, for employment by hospital or health system.

Other results: 51.6% of physicians will be implementing an electronic health records system, and nearly half (44.6%) will increase working hours.

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