NORWALK, Conn., Nov. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With physician compensation stuck in neutral, there are things medical practices can do to drive revenue farther.
Physicians Practice surveyed 1,338 physicians for its annual Physician Compensation Survey, asking about personal income, practice overhead, practice outlook, and other financial issues. Many practices are struggling to stay solvent and stagnant compensation is not helping matters.
Forty-two percent of respondents said that their income last year was the same as the year prior; 16 percent said it was down more than 10 percent. Furthermore, among those who own their medical practice, 32 percent said they'd classify net income from their practice as "slightly disappointing" with another 19 percent identifying the situation as "highly disappointing."
If there's a bright spot, it appears the cost of doing business as a medical practice may be declining — slightly. Asked about their practice's overhead as a percentage of medical revenue, the majority of respondents, 34 percent, said it was between 41 percent and 60 percent. That's a reduction of three percent when compared to the same question in the 2013 survey. Thirty-four percent of practice owners also said that their overhead as a percentage of revenue was greater than last year: a drop of eight percent from last year.
So with medical practice workload rising as payments to physicians are hitting a plateau, it is more important than ever for practices to use what they have to the fullest. From making sure everyone in the practice is working to the level of their license to using your tech investments to produce valuable practice data, Physicians Practice offers tips and advice on how to make the best out of a sluggish situation.
"For physicians, this news on compensation trends is nothing new — they see it each month at their practices," said Keith L. Martin, group editorial director for Physicians Practice. "And many practices are prepared and are weathering the storm. Our goal is to give them some additional insight from practice management experts to not be reactive, but rather proactive; using the tools and resources they currently have at their practice to their advantage to combat years of flat compensation trends."
Other data from this year's survey includes:
- Fifteen percent of respondents said patient satisfaction accounts for 11 percent or more of their annual compensation.
- Thirty percent of physicians said all of their compensation is tied to productivity; 36 percent said this metric doesn't play a factor at all in their pay.
- In terms of methods to boost revenue, the majority (33 percent) said they have increased the number of patients seen per day, with taking on additional work outside of the practice (29 percent) and adding ancillary services (23 percent) rounding out the top three.
- Half of respondents said in the next five years, they will continue practice operations as they do now. Twelve percent said they plan to retire or become employed by a larger health system in the same time period.
For full results from our 2014 Physician Compensation Survey, including results by U.S. region, check out the data slideshow.
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