As the U.S. faces a physician shortage—estimated at more than 90,000 by 2020 and more than 130,000 just five years later, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges—some practices are offering higher compensation and increased benefits to recruit physicians.
The MGMA's Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey: 2013 Report Based on 2012 Data
shows that a higher salary is one way practices are attracting new doctors. Primary-care physicians in 2012 earned $180,000 in median first-year guaranteed compensation compared with $175,000 in 2011.
“A number of factors influence the environment for recruiting physicians, and it continues to be highly competitive,” Kenneth Hertz of the MGMA Health Care Consulting Group
, said in a release. “With an influx of new patients anticipated in 2014, practices are seeking additional providers to serve patients.”
In addition to offering increased compensation, they're also providing benefits such as signing bonuses, paid relocation expenses, loan forgiveness, paid vacations and continuing medical education “to attract new physicians and prepare to best serve their communities in the future,” according to Hertz.
The report, based on information from 5,225 providers in 629 medical organizations, also contains data on the movement of physicians across regions. Participating physicians in the Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin) reported the most relocations away from their region. Meanwhile, physicians in the West (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming) reported the fewest number of physician placements.
Though the MGMA-ACMPE represents practices including about 280,000 physicians, the organization cautions users of the report that results may not be indicative of the entire industry, as the survey is based on voluntary participation.Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden