Thread of consistency runs through HMO physician executives’ compensation

Total compensation for senior medical managers in HMOs increased, on average, 5 percent last year — similar to growth rates of previous years. According to a study by the Tampa, Fla.-based Physician Executive Management Center, a physician executive search firm, compensation for these people (medical directors, vice presidents for medical affairs, and physicians with similar titles) varies little, regardless of whether the person was employed by a for-profit or a not-for-profit HMO. Nor was there much variation among primary care disciplines, though senior medical managers coming from surgical ranks tend to earn less than their primary care counterparts. This was no surprise to the authors, who point out that, like most physicians on HMOs’ panels, physician leaders in managed care are predominately primary care doctors.

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