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Emergency medicine compensation grew by over 40%, according to MGMA research

Provider pay has increased 7 to 11 percent over last 5 years as shortages lead to practices offering more salary to recruit new doctors.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Primary care physician compensation increased by 3.4 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to the Medical Group Management Association's annual Provider Compensation and Production Report. Specialty physicians realized a 4.4 increase and advanced practice providers saw a 2.9 percent increase.

Over the last five years, total compensation among all providers has increased at a rate of 7 to 11 percent.


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While the healthcare industry is faced with a shortage of physicians, demand continues to rise, resulting in changes in compensation for new hires. Practices recruiting new doctors are offering more salary, particularly in specialties where there may be a shortage.

More than 10,000 medical practices and physicians currently use the MGMA data to analyze compensation and market trends.


The report found steady increases in the median guaranteed compensation for newly-hired providers between 2017 and 2018. Guaranteed compensation for newly-hired emergency medicine, cardiology and urology physicians grew 40.43 percent (from $207,360 to $291,194); 21.25 percent (from $400,000 to $485,000); and 20 percent (from $312,500 to $375,000), respectively.

Compensation for non-physician providers grew as well, with physician assistant pay growing 10.35 percent and nurse practitioner salary increasing by 4 percent.

The most sizable increases in total compensation for established providers between 2017 and 2018 included the medical specialties: diagnostic radiology, general obstetrics and gynecology, neurological surgery, noninvasive cardiology and neurology.

The Midwest and Southern regions of the U.S. reported the largest compensation for physicians in 2018 and the Eastern region reported the lowest compensation rates for physicians.

The 2019 MGMA Compensation and Production Report represents comparative data from over 147,000 providers in over 5,500 organizations. The report is based on a voluntary response by MGMA member and nonmember practices.

The collected data is reported online in the 2019 MGMA DataDive Provider Compensation. Information from MGMA surveys are published in MGMA DataDive.


"These compensation specifics allow medical practices to remain competitive and informed on the ever-evolving trends that continue to occur in the healthcare industry," said Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright, president and CEO at MGMA. "The increases we are seeing are driven not only by supply and demand but also by an increase in productivity.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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