SOURCE: ECG Management Consultants, Inc.

healthcare management consulting

December 07, 2009 13:32 ET

ECG Management Consultants, Inc. Releases Findings From Its Tenth Annual Northwest "Provider Compensation, Production, and Benefits Surveys"

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - December 7, 2009) - ECG Management Consultants, Inc., one of the nation's premier healthcare management consulting firms, today announced the release of its tenth annual Northwest "Provider Compensation, Production, and Benefits Surveys."

ECG's Northwest surveys analyze and report information from nearly 4,000 healthcare providers representing 54 physician specialties and 8 midlevel provider specialties in the states of Washington and Oregon. The surveys include critical data such as compensation-to-production ratios, including work and total relative value units (RVUs), 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 surveys based on 2008 data are as follows:

--  Compensation relative to work RVU production increased for Northwest
    physicians by 8.8 percent as a result of compensation gains of 3.2 percent
    on declining work RVU production of 1.6 percent.
--  On average, malpractice expense per physician in the Northwest
    decreased by nearly 14 percent to $15,945.
--  Benefit costs decreased to $38,192 per physician FTE, which is a 3.0
    percent decrease from the 2008 average.
--  The top three recruited specialties in the Northwest for the third
    year in a row include family practice without OB, internal medicine, and
    internal medicine -- hospitalists.
--  Health system-employed groups continue to experience significant
    losses (approximately 18 percent of collections), while independent groups
    are reserving approximately 1 percent of collections for working capital.

"ECG's Northwest surveys provide the most comprehensive physician compensation and production data available in this market. Provider organizations participate in our surveys year after year because the surveys provide access to consistent benchmarks, as well as information that impacts physician performance, such as trends in 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. "As healthcare reform occurs, having timely access to market trends in physician reimbursement and compensation models will be even more critical."

"Reimbursement and economic pressures have been the story of 2009 for physician organizations in the Northwest," stated Mr. Kevin M. Kennedy, Principal and leader of ECG's Healthcare -- Northwest practice. "Nevertheless, physicians will be difficult to retain if they are not paid appropriately and at competitive levels. Our surveys can help both independent and hospital-affiliated practices to navigate these difficult issues as well as position their organizations for future reform efforts."

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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