Healthcare Business News

Health IT leaders' compensation higher than most docs, survey shows

By Joseph Conn
Posted: July 22, 2013 - 1:15 pm ET

Health information technology is hot.

How hot? Pay increases for health IT leaders in medical groups last year outstripped raises for most physicians, according to a survey by the MGMA.

In its Management Compensation Survey: 2013 Report Based on 2012 Data, the median compensation levels for chief information officers and information system directors rose 7% last year.

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In comparison, the median compensation increase for physicians across 23 medical specialties in an MGMA-ACMPE survey was 4%. Only four medical specialties—radiology oncology (8.7%), gastroenterology (8.3%), plastic surgery (7.8%) and neonatology (7.2%)—ranked higher than the pay hikes for the health IT classifications, according to a recent Modern Healthcare analysis of MGMA-ACMPE data.

Compensation for family practitioners, in contrast, rose 3.5%, the data showed.

“There are a variety of emerging technologies for medical practices, and many are exploring how to use these tools effectively,” MGMA-ACMPE President and CEO Dr. Susan Turney said in a news release.

“As practices are rapidly adding technologies that are increasingly complex and interwoven, having technology-focused staff in the practice is becoming even more necessary.” Turney said. “It's critical that practices have the personnel in place to fully leverage sophisticated HIT tools and, subsequently, to analyze and utilize data they provide in a meaningful way, which could ultimately improve patient care and produce higher efficiencies.”

An MGMA-ACMPE study released in June indicated practice leaders have growing concerns about readying their organizations for the federally mandated Oct. 1, 2014 conversion to the ICD-10 revision of diagnostic and procedural codes.

“With the transition to ICD-10 being extremely costly and challenging for medical groups, a well-trained CIO and ISD will be a critical component to success,” Turney said.

Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn

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