Why compile a list of the 50 largest radiology practices? We acknowledge that the list is far from complete, and that there may be some inconsistencies in the way that respondents answered the questions. Some radiology groups chose not to respond, and some may not have been aware that the survey was being done, so they are not included in the list. We do believe, however, that this is a pretty good start. We expect greater accuracy next year and more respondents every year.
The benefits of such a survey are well understood in other fields. In the accounting world, each year, we wait for a couple of organizations to publish their annual list of the largest accounting firms in the country. I see three main benefits of this distinction.
- It can be a source of organizational and employee pride to be able to say that you are one of the largest groups in the country.
- It can be used as a recruiting tool for new radiologists; some will see bigger as better.
- It can possibly be of benefit in contracting.
My interest in such a survey goes beyond mere curiosity. I have been asking the following question for a few years. If there are national and international accounting and law firms consisting of more than 2,000 owners and 20,000 employees, why are there not national radiology groups? In the past five years, we have seen the number of larger groups grow, but we really could not say, for sure, how much or how quickly. Now, we will have some method of trying to track the ebb and flow of practice size (even if it is an imperfect beginning).
Both LarsonAllen and Radiology Business Journal are very aware of the sensitive nature of the revenue portion of the survey, and we will respect and guard that information closely.
Thank you for participating.
The 50 Largest Radiology Practices Defy Simple Categorization
By Cheryl Proval When it comes to productivity, the results of the first annual survey to identify the country’s 50 largest radiology groups indicate that average revenue per FTE radiologist, in general, does bear a positive relationship with the size of the group. On the other hand, administrative challenges probably do the same, with the median number of FTE employees climbing from 57 in the groups with fewer than 35 FTE radiologists to 675 in those groups with more than 65 FTE radiologists.
Overall, the results of this survey suggest a wide variety of medical business models with as many anomalies as there are commonalities, revealing a rich and multifarious practice environment. The median number of FTE radiologists for the 50 largest radiology practices is 42.5, and the median number of employees is 161. The median number of imaging centers owned matches the median number of hospital contracts: seven.
Jointly sponsored by Radiology Business Journal and LarsonAllen, Minneapolis, our survey went out to the ImagingBiz.com mailing list. Subsequent telephone calls were made to known groups of size to encourage their participation. Very few responses were added from these groups, however, with many citing the requirement to submit revenue data (total revenue and net operating revenue) as a cause for concern.
We gave respondents the choice of granting us permission to publish the revenue data or keep them private, and most elected privacy. Ultimately, we elected to keep all revenue data private. This affected our criteria for ranking, which we initially expected to include both the number of FTE radiologists and net operating revenue. This ranking is based purely on the number of FTE radiologists, which puts the Boston academic site Brigham & Women’s Hospital at the top of the list, although its academic mission probably helps place its revenue per FTE more nearly in line with the median revenue for the groups having fewer than 35 FTE radiologists.
Clearly, factors other than size appear to affect revenue per FTE; these include an academic setting, imaging center ownership, and the absence of hospital contracts. A practice that ranks near the bottom of the list that had no hospital contracts has the second-highest revenue per FTE radiologist.
For purposes of analysis, we have grouped the practices into four categories: those having fewer than 35 FTE radiologists, 35 to 50 FTE radiologists, 51 to 65 FTE radiologists, and more than 65 FTE radiologists. As mentioned above, the average revenue per FTE radiologist increases with each step up in group size. Looking at the median revenue per FTE by group