by Joseph P. White, CPA, MBA
The second annual survey’s results are in, and I think you will find that they are representative of the larger groups in the country. We, of course, recognize that there are many large groups that chose not to participate in the survey, and consequently, the survey is not 100% accurate. I think we would still agree it is interesting and fun to read.
You will see that some of the larger groups declined in size. This is probably directly related, first, to the ability to increase the productivity of radiologists due to RIS/PACS and specialization and, second, to reimbursement cuts, self-referral, and radiology benefit management, resulting in decreased revenue and the groups’ adjusting of radiology staffing accordingly.
It appears that there is a fair amount of merger activity going on, so it will be interesting to see what next year’s results look like.
Thank you for participating!
Joseph P. White, CPA, MBA, is principal, LarsonAllen, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The 50 Largest Radiology Practices for 2009
Click here for [Table] or [PDF]
For the second year, LarsonAllen (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and Radiology Business Journal have cosponsored a survey to determine the ranking and characteristics of the largest radiology practices in the United States. Because the financial information submitted by the survey respondents is confidential, largest is defined as meaning that these practices have the most radiologists, counted in FTEs. Of course, many of the groups having the most FTE radiologists will naturally have the highest revenues as a result. Unlike last year, the sponsors have elected to rank academic practices using a different survey methodology because of the shared research mission.
The survey was conducted from July 15 through September 15, 2009, using a Web-based questionnaire that was made available to RBJ readers and the readers of ImagingBiz.com. There were 67 responding practices, and the survey cosponsors are grateful not only to the 50 practices represented here (see table), but to the 17 responding groups that had fewer FTE radiologists. The details provided by all 67 respondents helped to clarify the trends affecting the practice of radiology in 2009.
Because the responding practices were self-selected in that they were willing to provide their information, it is not possible to claim that every large radiology practice in the United States is represented here. For the same reason, the median values for selected practice variables (Figures 1–4) can only be considered to apply to the survey respondents themselves. Nevertheless, the survey is certainly likely to represent the majority of large radiology practices, and changes in the median values based on the information submitted by those practices probably indicate trends that deserve consideration in planning for 2010 and beyond. As the survey is repeated annually, those trends will become clearer and more useful over time.
This year, the largest radiology practice, with 106.2 FTE radiologists, was Advanced Radiology Services PC of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The practice grew substantially this year, adding 17 FTE radiologists. It has 20 FTE employees and has 105 teleradiology clients in one state. It has 15 hospital contracts and has no imaging centers. The second-largest practice was St Paul Radiology in Minnesota, which has 85 FTE radiologists (up from 83 last year) and 116 FTE employees. The group has an unspecified number of teleradiology clients in nine states, has seven imaging centers, and has 13 hospital contracts.
The third-largest practice reduced its staffing slightly this year. Austin Radiological Associates in Texas now has 78 FTE radiologists, down from 84 last year, and it has 644 FTE employees; in 2008, it had 700. It has 14 imaging centers and 15 hospital contracts, and it performs all of its interpretations via teleradiology, primarily from central reading centers. Five other groups also had more than 65 FTE radiologists, 16 groups had 50 to 65 FTE radiologists, 12 groups had 35 to 49 FTE radiologists, and the remaining 14 groups had 25 to 35 FTE radiologists.
Changes for 2009
A look at the data indicates that many of the large became larger in 2009; the average group size for the 50 largest practices is now 48 FTE radiologists and 154 FTE employees, and the smallest of the 50 groups has four more FTE radiologists than 2008’s smallest group had. In part, this