The year 2014 proved to be a mixed year for the physicians in US. While some of the medical specialties saw an increase in their compensation, others witnessed a reduction in the total cash compensation. The income may have increased for some physicians but the frustration caused by healthcare reforms still exists.
|As per a Sullivan, Cotter and Associate survey, specialty physicians witnessed an increase of 1.9% in compensation in 2014 whereas the surgical specialty physicians saw a 2.5% increase|
|As per a Physicians Practice survey, 51% respondents said their net income is slightly or highly disappointing|
Challenges related to Patient Influx and Stalled Income in 2014
According to a Physicians Foundation survey of 20,000 US physicians, 80% doctors were over-extended or at full capacity. Merely 19% physicians said they had sufficient time to attend more patients. 44% providers said that they are planning to take steps for reducing patient access to their services. In order to do this, they will work part-time, close their practice to new patients or seek clinical jobs.
The Physicians Compensation Survey by Physicians Practice indicated that the compensation for many providers was stalled in 2014. Approximately 17% respondents said that their personal income was down by more than 10% compared to last year 2013, whereas 42% said their income remained the same in 2014.
Growing number of physicians have stated that their income from practice is not growing in a significant manner. From January 01, 2015, primary care doctors will have to face 40% or more reduction in their Medicaid fees. This payment cut will take place at a time when Medicaid enrollment in cities like New York, Ohio and Illinois will go through ‘significant expansion’.
How 2014 benefitted physicians?
According to the Physician Compensation and Productivity Survey from Sullivan, Cotter and Associates, the median total cash compensation increased for many medical billing specialties. Compared to 2013, Urology practices experienced the largest increase in payments. The income for specialty physicians increased by 1.9% in 2014 on an average; however, it was still down from a 3.2% increase in 2013.
|OB / GYN||4%|
General cardiology experienced 0% change in compensation whereas anesthesiology experienced a -0.2% change. There was an increase in the perks and sign-on bonuses offered to the physicians by their employers as a part of their recruitment efforts. According to the Sullivan, Cotter and Associates survey, there was an increase in the number of employers offering retention bonuses and student loan assistance to physicians.
Compared to 74% employers in 2013, 78% employers offered sign-on bonuses to physicians in 2014. These bonuses were a part of their recruitment package. The retention bonus also increased from 17% in 2013 to 27% in 2014. Student loan assistance to physicians also increased from 16% in 2013 to 30% in 2014.
Many providers said that the Affordable Care Act has not affected their practice. As per the Sullivan, Cotter and Associates survey, the total cash compensation increased by 4.9% for primary care physicians. The year 2014 also saw an increase in the employment of physicians. The use of advanced practice clinicians was also increased this year.
In order to overcome revenue challenges and prepare for the significant changes scheduled for 2015, increasing number of providers have started outsourcing their billing needs. Billing companies such as MedicalBillersandCoders.com have been helping practices and hospitals boost their revenue amidst all these changes with their skilled team of certified coders and billers. Providers across all the states in the US have been able to streamline their business functions and run a profitable practice with the help of MBC’s affordable and customized RCM solutions.