“If the administrator had a solid performance, they got a raise—a small one—since their hand on the tiller is what got the practice over the profitability finish line,” said Karen Zupko, president of Karen Zupko & Associates, a Chicago-based practice management consulting and training firm, in an e-mail. “On the other hand, with the numbers we are seeing in many practices now, it is likely that raises in 2010 will be flat to nonexistent. In many of our client practices, the ‘raise' was the contribution to the retirement plan and keeping the practice funding of health insurance at current levels.”
The report included data collected on 7,907 managers from 1,316 group practices, and the MGMA noted that its results were dependent on voluntary participation and “may not be representative of the industry.” It added that year-to-year variations may be the result of market adjustments or a reflection of the composition of respondents.
Those reasons could explain the precipitous 17.3% drop in compensation for physician CEOs and presidents. Their compensation, according to the report, fell to $343,981 in 2009 from $415,853 in 2008 and $410,335 in 2007. In fact, the 2009 figure was just 0.09% over the number given for compensation in 2005: $343,683.
MGMA survey analysts explained part of the decline in physician CEO compensation on the decrease in the "physician executive reporting population."
The report indicated that chief operating officers had their compensation increase to $139,032 in 2009 for a 12% jump from the $124,033 they took in during 2008. It was also a 28.7% increase from their 2005 total of $108,000. Chief financial officers saw their pay increase almost 9.8% in 2009 to $132,173 from $120,422 in 2008, which is almost 29.6% higher than the $102,000 they made in 2005.