Managed Care

Compensation, patient-care time vary widely by practice size

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Self-employed physicians who practice with one or more other doctors tend to spend more time in patient-care activities than solo practitioners — and their compensation reflects that. A doctor in a typical two-physician practice, for instance, spends, on average, 12 percent more time in patient-care activities, and receives 23 percent more income from medical practice, than a physician in solo practice. Patient-care activities include seeing patients in offices, clinics, and hospitals; communicating with patients by phone; and other services, such as taking X-rays, interpreting test results, and consulting with other physicians. Net income is defined as earnings from practice after expenses and before taxes, including deferred compensation.

If you calculate an imputed hourly rate based on these averages, the advantages of group practice are highlighted. Physicians practicing in groups of 4–8 are rewarded 20 percent better than their solo colleagues.

SOURCE: PHYSICIAN SOCIOECONOMIC MONITORING SYSTEM, AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, 2001

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