Eric Bushlow, Cardiovascular Roundtable
A recent report published by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) finds interventional cardiologists receive on average $450 more per day for on-call services than their invasive-cardiologist counterparts, a cohort which includes electrophysiologists.
Comparing invasive cardiologists to noninvasive cardiologists, compensation was largely equivalent, with a median compensation of $650 for on-call services. However, within the invasive cardiologist cohort, there was significant variability in compensation favoring interventional specialists.
Respondents asked to identify with one of four cardiology categories
The study surveyed 3,864 on-call providers across 308 medical organizations. Respondents self selected their specialization, indicating allegiance to one of four primary categories for cardiology:
- invasive cardiologists
- Invasive-interventional cardiologists (interventional cardiologists)
- Noninvasive cardiologists
MGMA defines the first three categories as invasive cardiologists.
Interventional cardiologists see greater earning power than other categories
Despite more favorable compensation for interventional cardiologists over all other invasive cardiologists, compensation varied depending on physician group type, demographics, and location within the interventional cardiologist cohort.
- Interventional cardiologists that were part of single-specialty groups received $150 per day more than those that belonged to multispecialty groups.
- Interventional cardiologists in metropolitan areas received $125 per day more than their counterparts in non-metropolitan areas.
- Interventional cardiologists in the South received $550 per day more than their peers in Western states.
The differences in compensation between interventional cardiologists and their invasive cardiologist peers were even more dramatic when examining weekend and holiday compensation.
- Median holiday compensation for interventional cardiologists was $2000, while other invasive cardiologists received only $500.
- Median weekend compensation for interventional cardiologists was $2,500, yet only $500 for other invasive cardiologists.
Despite compelling data, possiblity for error exists
While these figures are quite dramatic at first glance, study authors note that survey respondents may have had different definitions of each subspecialty, introducing some degree of error. Additionally, participating in the survey is voluntary and not necessarily representative of the industry at large.
Nevertheless, this data is quite compelling, indicating the wide range in on-call compensation across a diverse set of programs and specialties.
For more information on physician compensation, as well as potential alignment strategies, Roundtable members can review our recent study, Securing Physician Alignment.
In this publication, we explore feasible options for aligning with physicians in today's marketplace, examine how hospitals have structured co-management, clinical integration, and employment agreements to maximize return, and also show how accountable care will alter the role of CV specialists in the marketplace and require closer integration with primary care physicians.