Radiology misses out on physician salary increases

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Although overall physician pay increased in 2018, radiologists did not benefit from the trend, according to a new survey published August 27 by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Data from AMGA's 2019 Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey show that overall physician compensation increased in 2018 by a median of 2.92%, compared with a median of 0.89% the previous year.

"The 2019 survey shows that physician compensation in 2018 rebounded from a stagnant 2017," noted Fred Horton, president of AMGA Consulting, the subsidiary that conducted the research, in a statement released by the association.

Despite the boost in overall physician compensation payment, median annual compensation for diagnostic radiology decreased by 0.95%, down from $487,239 in 2018 to $482,599 in 2019 -- although median annual compensation for radiology practices with 300 or fewer full-time employees was $600,980.

The survey also found the following:

  • Overall physician productivity as measured by relative value units (RVUs) increased by 0.29% in 2018, compared with a 1.63% decline in 2017.
  • Median compensation for all primary care specialties increased by 4.91%.
  • Median compensation for all medical specialties saw an increase of 3.39%.

"Data from this year's survey show compensation is increasing without an equivalent increase in work RVU production for many specialties. This trend is causing organizations to absorb additional compensation expenses without balancing revenue from production increases," Horton stated. "More intentionally transitioning to value-based care is one strategy medical groups can use to mitigate this trend, as it would help them better clarify their organizational strategies and objectives."

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