SOURCE: ECG Management Consultants

ECG Management Consultants, Inc.

November 04, 2015 10:00 ET

ECG Management Consultants' 2015 Pediatric Subspecialty Physician Compensation Survey Reveals Lower Productivity, Higher Compensation

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwired - November 04, 2015) - Pediatric subspecialists and surgeons are earning higher compensation despite an overall decline in productivity, and in many cases, their organizations' collections from physician services aren't keeping pace. Those are two key findings of ECG Management Consultants' 2015 Pediatric Subspecialty Physician Compensation Survey.

Nearly three-quarters of the survey's specialties experienced a decrease in WRVUs compared to 2014, and for many subspecialties this was the second straight year of decreased WRVU levels. Despite the aggregate decline in WRVUs of -0.7%, compensation increased 0.5%, which yielded an increase in production-adjusted compensation of 4.3%.

Further, pediatric organizations are using a greater proportion of professional collections to cover physician compensation. In 2015, the typical physician earned more than his/her organization collected on professional services in half of the pediatric subspecialties in the survey.

"The overall findings from this year's survey continue to reflect key ongoing trends in pediatric physician practice in our country," said Ken Roorda, ECG Principal and leader of the firm's Children's Hospital practice. "It's exciting to see the growth and broad representation of organizations and specialists from across the nation in this survey, providing an even greater database for decision making for member organizations."

ECG is a national consulting firm working exclusively with healthcare providers, and its Pediatric Subspecialty Physician Compensation Survey is the largest data set of its kind in the healthcare industry. Now in its ninth year, the survey reports detailed compensation and productivity data based on responses from nearly 7,300 pediatric subspecialists. Beyond just collecting and reporting on compensation and production, ECG's survey accounts for additional factors that affect a provider's performance and ability to generate income, including compensation planning, methodologies, provider benefits, recruiting, retention, operating policies, and healthcare IT practices.

Further, ECG's survey presents in-depth information on how organizations are incorporating value-based metrics -- including specialty-specific quality compensation and, for the first time, patient satisfaction compensation. "Our member organizations have been tracking quality and patient satisfaction metrics and incorporating them into their compensation plans. That's something our survey accounts for," Roorda said.

Other key findings from this year's survey include the following:

  • The rate of increase in pediatric physician compensation is more modest than the gains seen in the previous 3 years, but still increased 0.5% compared to 2014. This is the seventh straight year of overall increases.
  • Within integrated health systems, total medical group expenses represented 157% of net professional collections, which translates to an investment per physician of approximately $221,000.
  • Variable compensation represents 21.7% of total compensation for pediatric physicians, with WRVUs accounting for 10.3% of compensation, or nearly half of the incentive. Quality metrics account for 3.0% of compensation, or about 14% of the incentive dollars.
  • Fifty percent of organizations are utilizing quality measures in physician compensation plans in 2015. Median clinical quality compensation was $15,391 across approximately 500 physicians for whom this data was reported, which is 1.5 times the median reported in 2014.

Survey Methodology

ECG's Physician Compensation Survey and Pediatric Subspecialty Physician Compensation Survey analyze and report information from more than 32,000 healthcare providers representing 134 physician specialties and 15 advanced practice clinician (APC) provider types across the nation. The surveys contain critical provider performance trends such as physician compensation methodologies, compensation and production benchmarks, primary care panel size, CPT procedure code distributions, physician and APC benefit trends, and additional key performance metrics (e.g., payor mix, recruiting rates by specialty, patient access). This information, coupled with ECG's interpretation of market trends, enables survey members to assess their performance relative to the competitive local market.

ECG's surveys can be accessed via ECGVault, a proprietary online benchmarking website made available exclusively to the 48 member organizations of the 2015 Pediatric Subspecialty Physician Compensation Survey.

About ECG
ECG is a strategic consulting firm that is leading healthcare forward, using the knowledge and expertise built over the course of four decades to help clients see clearly where healthcare is going and to navigate toward success. We work as trusted, professional partners with hospitals, health systems, medical groups, and academic medical centers across the country. We thrive on delivering smart counsel and pragmatic solutions to the critical challenges facing healthcare providers. Client success is our primary objective. ECG's national presence includes offices in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.

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