News: Physician compensation stable during pandemic
Physician compensation during the COVID-19 pandemic remained largely unchanged, even as just about everything else across the healthcare landscape shifted, HealthLeaders reported.
The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)'s 2021 Provider Compensation and Production report examined data from more than 185,000 providers across more than 6,700 physician- and hospital-owned care venues, finding that primary care physician compensation saw modest growth in 2020, and other physician specialties saw slight increases or met previous year compensation amid the pandemic.
That relative stability occurred despite patient volumes falling off a cliff, caps in elective and nonemergency procedures, and the shuttering of thousands of physician practices.
"MGMA's modest compensation findings belie the turmoil of 2020," said Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, president and CEO of Englewood, Colorado-based MGMA. "Our numbers tell a story of a year of unprecedented challenges that could have potentially led to a serious decline in compensation across every category we track."
According to MGMA, total compensation for primary care physicians rose by 2.6% between 2019 and 2020, compared to the three- and five-year cumulative increases of 5.27% and 10.15% respectively.
Other physician specialties also held stable, and decreases in compensation for some specialists were not as bad as anticipated, despite patient access challenges during the pandemic, HealthLeaders reported.