Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NEJM: Part-Time Physician Practice on the Rise

According to an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine, physicians in part-time practices are increasing.

In 2005 part-time physicians made up 13% of the physician work force, now part-time physicians are at 21% of the workforce. The fastest growing segments of these physicians in the work force are men approaching retirement age and women in early to mid-career.

Quality of life is an increasing concern amongst physicians seeking new or modifying current practices. It is a consideration many new graduates are seeking in new opportunities. Mostly the change in schedule is driven by physicians also wanting an active family or home life.

Despite the physician shortage, facilities and private practice groups are compromising with existing employees or offering flexible schedules to prospective candidates to stay competitive and offer quality of life to their employees. Depending on the specialty, some practices simply allow the part-timers to work out their own schedules as long as other members of the group have equal coverage or options. Some groups or facilities require formalized arrangements with fixed schedules set well in advance. Multi-specialty groups like his are more amenable to nontraditional schedules.

Income typically is still based on a volume model, similar to full time physicians. Most part-time physicians are compensated on a prorated basis, depending on the number of hours they practice or the volume of cases they handle. Most groups also provide health and retirement benefits and offer little changes to CME benefits.

In this changing healthcare environment, many facilities and groups are being more accommodating to attract and maintain their physician workforce. Whether offering part-time employee options, partner/ job sharing, or other options, it is important to be flexible to maintain physicians.

Read the full article at The New England Journal of Medicine, or click here:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Healthcare Companies in Fortune's 100 Fastest Growing Companies

Fortune has published their annual "100 Fastest-Growing Companies: Rising Stars", and 21 medical companies made the list of 100 Fastest Growing Firms.

Among the medical companies making the list are 6 pharmaceutical companies, 4 medical device/equipment manufacturers, 3 home health care providers, and 2 Healthcare IT firms. Only one hospital system made the list, Community Health Systems, which owns and operates 123 community hospitals nationwide.

Read the full article in Fortune, or click here:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Highlights of MGMA's 2010 Physician Compensation Survey

With the current state of the economy and political changes in healthcare, physician’s compensation has been affected in many ways. MGMA has released their 2009 survey on physician compensation tracking the changes from 2008.

For the most part physician’s total compensation has increased slightly from the previous year, although the changes vary per specialty. Last year Primary Care Physicians experienced nearly 3% increase in their average income.

Specialty physicians in private practices averaged higher compensation than physicians in hospital owned practices. However physicians in hospital owned practices averaged higher compensation per case or RVU volume. Average compensation for private practice specialty physician’s was just over 25% than specialty physicians in hospital owned practices.

With the impending changes in healthcare and with healthcare reform the environment for physician compensation will greatly affect all physicians and specialties, particularly those in private practices. The surge in patients will also dramatically increase the current physician shortage, particularly for Primary Care Physicians in the coming years.

Read the full article on MGMA's website, or click here:

Six Different Models of Physician Compensation

This article is written by a Family Practice physician in a private practice adding another physician to his group.

Dr. Greenfield comes up with 6 different models for physician compensation:

Equal Sharing
Salary plus Bonus
Productivity plus Capitation Mix

Each model has its pros and cons, oftentimes giving incoming physicians a choice can optimize their happiness in the practice as well as benefit the practice as the compensation is based on how the physician works best figuring in quality of life.

Read the full article at AAFP, or click here:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Physician Re-entry: One Way To Address the Physician Shortage

Many are concerned about the current and impending physician shortage, particularly in primary care. With healthcare reform, the current physician shortage will be much more drastic.

According to this article in Physicians News, one way to address the physician shortage is to return inactive physicians to clinical practice. Returning a non-practicing physician to clinical medicine is appealing. First, it is significantly less expensive to re-train an inactive physician than to train a new one. Second, one can re-train physicians much faster than one can train new physicians, so more physicians would be available in less time. Also, in the current economic climate, many retired physicians are looking to return to medicine.

However, re-entry also has its limitations. Physicians wanting to return to clinical medicine face numerous challenges: low self-confidence in their skills, lack of professional networking possibilities, limited resources for gaining up-to-date skills and knowledge, and cumbersome regulations from licensing and credentialing bodies or employers. Of equal concern, programs offering reentry face financial and (educational) resource challenges.

Read the full article at Physicians News, or click here:


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Median 2008 and 2009 Unrestricted Hourly On-Call Pay Rates

Sullivan, Cotter, and Associates, Inc. has published their annual physician and hospital executive salary averages. The New England Journal of Medicine has reported the survey documenting certain physician specialty's unrestricted hourly on-call pay rates.

Obviously these figures vary on geographical location, trauma, and specialty. However the survey provides a good starting point to estimate average paid hourly on-call.

Neurosurgery is one of the highest on-call paid specialties with Orthopedic Surgery and Anesthesiology coming in second and third.

See The New England Journal of Medicine's table here: