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Report Reveals Payment Methods for Physicians

More than half of non-solo physicians receive all or most compensation from salary

THURSDAY, Jan. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many physicians in non-solo practice settings are paid using different methods, with just over half receiving all or most of their compensation from salary, according to a report from the American Medical Association.

The report was based on a 2012 survey, in which physicians were asked to specify which of four methods determined their take-home pay: salary, compensation based on personal productivity; compensation based on practice financial performance; or bonuses related to other factors.

According to the results of the survey, over half (approximately 53 percent) of non-solo physicians received all or most of their compensation from salary. About one-third received all or most of their pay based on personal productivity. Differences in payment methods were observed for practice owners and physician employees, with owners citing pay based on personal productivity more than other methods, although almost one-third received all or most of their pay from salary. The primary payment method for physician employees was salary (almost 73 percent). Variation was seen in payment method according to specialty, with productivity-based pay of top importance for psychiatrist owners (64 percent), while less than 2 percent of radiologist owners reported personal productivity as their primary compensation method. Employed physicians of all specialties reported a high reliance on salary.

"Changed incentives at the practice level may be felt differently at the physician level, depending on what compensation methods are in place," according to the report.

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