Specialty physicians’ overall compensation remained flat in 2007, (increasing just 0.31 percent, adjusted for inflation, or 3.16 percent without inflation) according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2008 Report Based on 2007 Data. Among specialists, invasive cardiologists’ compensation declined (0.18 percent loss) even before inflation. However, noninvasive cardiologists’ compensation increased 11.72 percent. Compensation for EM physicians and hem/onc also failed to keep up with inflation.
Specialists who fared better included anesthesiologists (6.43 percent increase above inflation) and urologists, posting a gain of 5.5 percent above inflation—compounding a similar gain in 2006. “Although primary care physicians posted modest gains in compensation as a result of increased productivity and the reweighting of evaluation and management codes, overall practice costs continue to rise at staggering rates,” said William F. Jessee, MD, FACMPE, president and CEO, MGMA. “The continued uncertainty of the reimbursement environment creates an untenable situation for physician groups.” This gives physicians all the more reason to pay close attention to the healthcare and economic policy plans of this year’s political candidates.