Report: Doctors Less Productive and Getting Paid Less, Too

The American Medical Group Association says that doctor compensation grew by less than 2% in 2017, the first time that’s happened in over a decade.

Message to med school students: You may want to consider becoming a cardiac/thoracic surgeon. That is if one of the things you’re looking at in job satisfaction is compensation (and who isn't?). Cardiac/thoracic surgeons saw a 6.4% increase in their median compensation in 2017, according to a report by the American Medical Group Association, and as reported by Healthcare Finance News. Cardiac/thoracic surgeons were also more productive, as measured by work relative value units; RUVs for the group rose 4.7%.

But for all physicians in general, there was a decline in both compensation and RUVs. That can be underscored by looking at the numbers for the next highest compensation increase for a group. Emergency medicine doctors saw a 1% increase in median compensation while their RUVs dropped by 4.7%. 

The weighted average change in median compensation in all specialties in last year was +1.2%, while the weighted average change in median RVUs was -1.5 percent.“While no definitive reason for the decline in productivity was pinpointed, the burdens imposed on doctors by EHR use, patient complexity, and administrative and compliance requirements were said to be potential factors,” Healthcare Finance News reports.