Pay for primary care physicians grew faster in 2022: MGMA

Compensation for primary care physicians in 2022 rose more than a year earlier, but this increase was not enough to offset last year’s inflationary pressures.

Based on data from more than 190,000 physicians, the median total pay for primary care physicians rose 4.41% last year, up from 2.13% in 2021, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Medical Group Management Association released Thursday based on data from more than 190,000 physicians. .

Unadjusted consumer prices rose 6.5% in the 12 months ending December, according to the Labor Department.

Primary care physicians saw the largest pay increases among surgical and non-surgical specialists and advanced practice practitioners.

However, primary health care physicians remain among the lowest paid physicians across all specialties, resulting in relatively fewer medical graduates specializing in primary health care and exacerbating the shortage, especially in rural areas.

Primary care physicians have long been lobbying the federal government to increase the pay schedule for physicians, especially as non-urgent surgeries have fallen during the pandemic and physicians continue to struggle with higher costs. Although a spending bill passed late last year slowed the 2023 Medicare doctor pay cut to 2% from 4.5%, lobbying groups said Congress should have prevented the pay cut. The American Medical Association said doctors may be forced to rely more on commercially insured patients and limit assistance to Medicare recipients.

Here are five takeaways from the report:

  • Primary care physician salaries vary by region. Suppliers in the southern and western regions experienced the largest increase in compensation from 2019 to 2022. Compensation increased by 11.4% in the western region compared to 6.5% in the eastern region.
  • No specialties can keep up with inflation. Total compensation for surgical and non-surgical professionals declined in 2022, falling to 2.54% in 2022 from 3.89% a year earlier for surgeons and to 2.36% last year from 3.12% in 2021 for non-surgical doctors. The salary of advanced practitioners has decreased slightly, to 3.70%, from 3.98% in 2021.
  • Growth plans have been scaled back. Only 28% of medical groups added an ancillary service from October 2021 to October 2022 as they battled labor shortages.
  • Retirement is not far off. About 40% of medical practitioners will reach retirement age in the next decade. This is partly why health systems are partnering with medical schools to build a talent pool.
  • Subscription bonuses are popular. In 2022, almost half of physicians were offered a subscription bonus, compared to about 18% of practicing physicians with best practices.

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