Physician salaries on the rise, but not for radiology

Physician compensation increased in 2018, according to a new survey from AMGA. Diagnostic radiology, however, is one specialty that did not benefit from that trend.

AMGA’s 2019 Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey included data from 272 medical groups, representing more than 117,000 providers overall. A subsidiary of AMGA, AMGA Consulting, conducted the survey, accepting responses beginning in January 2019.

Overall, physician compensation increased by a median of 2.92%. Productivity, meanwhile, only increased by 0.29%. Fred Horton, AMGA Consulting’s president, explained in a prepared statement what these numbers mean when it comes to larger healthcare trends.

“The 2019 survey shows that physician compensation in 2018 rebounded from a stagnant 2017,” Horton said. “While productivity also increased, it did not increase enough to surpass the decline we saw in last year’s survey, meaning productivity still has not risen since 2016.”

Horton also noted that “compensation is increasing without an equivalent increase in wRVU production for many specialties.”

“This trend is causing organizations to absorb additional compensation expenses without balancing revenue from production increases,” Horton said in the statement. “More intentionally transitioning to value-based care is one strategy medical groups can use to mitigate this trend, as it would help them better clarify their organizational strategies and objectives.”

What about radiology?

The median annual compensation for diagnostic radiology in 2018 was $482,599, down 0.95% from $487,239 the previous year. The median compensation for radiologists from groups with 300 full-time employees (FTEs) was much higher ($600,980) than for radiologists in groups with more than 300 FTEs ($474,987).

The median work RVUs in radiology, meanwhile, was 9,809, up from 9,264 in 2018.