SOURCE: ECG Management Consultants, Inc.

ECG Management Consultants, Inc.

December 07, 2009 15:39 ET

ECG Management Consultants, Inc. Releases Findings From Its Fifth Annual Midwest "Provider Compensation, Production, and Benefits Survey"

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - December 7, 2009) - ECG Management Consultants, Inc., one of the nation's premier healthcare management consulting firms, today announced the release of its fifth annual Midwest "Provider Compensation, Production, and Benefits Survey."

ECG's Midwest survey analyzes and reports information from over 3,300 healthcare providers representing 52 physician specialties and 9 midlevel provider specialties in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The survey includes critical data such as compensation-to-production ratios, including work and total relative value units (RVUs) (calculated by ECG from provider-level CPT code data), procedure code distributions, trends in provider recruiting and retention, and specialty-specific benefit and malpractice comparisons. This information, coupled with ECG's interpretation of market trends, enables survey participants to assess their performance relative to the competitive local market.

General findings in the 2009 survey based on 2008 data are as follows:

--  Compensation relative to work RVU production increased for Midwest
    physicians by 8.4 percent as a result of compensation gains of 2.5 percent
    on declining work RVU production of 1.3 percent.
--  Benefit costs decreased to $35,299 per physician FTE, while benefits
    expense as a percentage of total compensation fell to 15.0 percent.
--  The top three recruited specialties in the Midwest include family
    practice without OB, internal medicine, and orthopedic surgery.
--  Health system-employed groups continue to require significant
    investment (approximately 20 percent of total revenue), while independent
    groups accessed capital reserves or lines of credit to fund operations.

"ECG's Midwest survey provides comprehensive, physician compensation and production benchmarks that are critical to successful provider organizations. Organizations participate in our survey year after year because it gives them access to consistent, clearly defined benchmarks, as well as the latest trends in provider compensation planning, benefits, recruiting, healthcare IT, and practice models," said Ms. Maria C. Hayduk, Senior Manager at ECG and head of its Custom Survey and Proprietary Research practice area.

"The information reported to participants of our surveys is critical to day-to-day operations, but even more critical during periods of significant change and uncertainty. While the discussion in Washington, D.C., is compelling to follow, the changes to the underlying economics identified in these surveys have prepared participants and allowed them to stay ahead of the pack," said Mr. James W. Lord, Principal of ECG's Healthcare - Midwest practice. "We expect the pace of integration to increase in 2010, driven by provider-initiated reform to the delivery system with the goal of optimizing value (quality/cost) throughout the continuum of outpatient, inpatient, and post-acute care."

ECG Survey Methodology

The "Provider Compensation, Production, and Benefits Surveys" are developed in partnership with local healthcare leaders and ECG's physician compensation and production experts. These experts go to extraordinary lengths to ensure data quality and validity. Raw survey data is reviewed by ECG's survey analysts, who identify outliers for verification by the surveys' participants; if data cannot be validated, it is removed. At the conclusion of this process, ECG converts the raw data into succinct, proprietary information.

About ECG Management Consultants, Inc.

ECG offers a broad range of strategic, financial, operational, and technology-related consulting services to healthcare providers. ECG provides specialized expertise in developing and implementing innovative and customized solutions that effectively address hospital/physician relationships, strategic and business planning, specialty program development, information technology, and the complexities of the academic healthcare enterprise. ECG has offices in Seattle, Boston, Washington, D.C., San Diego, and St. Louis. For more information, visit

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