Family practice base salary continues to improve

Family practice has done better than other primary care specialties in recent years in terms of improvement in base salary, according to a new survey. The top five of 112 surveyed were, in order, gastroenterology, orthopedic surgery, hematology (oncology), otolaryngology, and family practice, according to the Hay Group's Physician Compensation Survey, which also found that physicians in independent groups had greater gains than those who work in hospitals.

The finding is of interest in light of the effects of the federal Stark II guidelines that prohibit a physician from referring patients for designated health services to any entity (including his own medical practice or group) with which he has a financial relationship.

Before Stark II, a practice could collect fees through referrals from physicians within the organization. Those fees could affect base salary.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has recommended six compensation surveys conducted by consultants that health care organizations can rely on to demonstrate that a payment to a physician falls within one of the exceptions to the Stark II prohibition. Stark II went into effect late last year. "It will be interesting to see how these organizations will use Stark II to design their compensation structure," says Dilek Karabucak, health care information consultant at the Hay Group.

Source: 2004 Physician Compensation Report of the Hay Group

Career Opportunities

HAP, a subsidiary of Henry Ford Health System, is a nonprofit health plan providing coverage to individuals, companies and organizations. This executive develops strategies to meet membership and revenue targets through products, pricing, market segmentation and advertising.  Aligns business among Business Development, Commercial Sales, Medicare and Public Sector Programs and Product Development. Seeks to enhance and be responsible for business development and expansion through the development of an effective product portfolio, strong interpersonal relationships and service excellence.

Apply via email to or online at

Subscribe to Our Newsletters

Monthly table of contents

Be notified as each issue of Managed Care is available online.

Biweekly newsletter

Recent topics have included:

PTCommunity news

New drug approvals, clinical trials, drug management. Three times per week.


Managed Care
By Peter Wehrwein
Managed Care
By Howard Wolinsky