Physician Income Up, Fiscal Cliff Poses Worrying Signs
Physician income increased modestly in 2012, with slightly higher percentages of doctors reporting incomes in the highest brackets, according to Physicians Practice's 2012 Physician Compensation Survey. Yet doctors also report higher practice overhead; consequently, physicians are more likely to say that their personal income is down this year compared with last year.
One thousand three hundred eleven doctors and staff were asked about personal income, practice overhead, practice outlook, and other financial issues. Although compensation seems to have grown slightly, the survey also found that:
Almost 40% of primary care physicians (and a majority of pediatricians) make less than $150,000 a year. But only 29% of OBGYNs and 10% of radiologists fall below that threshold.
Worrying signs are on the horizon for physician income. Congress and President Obama continue to negotiate over the so-called "fiscal cliff," which, if unresolved would include a 27% cut in Medicare payments to physicians on January. 1. For now, only 15% of practices reported that they are no longer accepting new Medicare patients, but that might change if cuts go through.
Meanwhile, reductions in Medicare spending contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) may erode physician compensation, especially for practices that struggle to reap increases in outcome-based payments.
Source: UBM Medica US