MGMA: Primary care doctors' pay has jumped nearly 10% since 2012

Shift to value-based payments has created a 'buyer's market' for PCPs

Average compensation for primary care physicians (PCPs) rose faster than compensation for specialists last year, in part because of new payment methods, according to a report from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

Report findings

The report found that average annual compensation for PCPs last year was $241,273, a nearly 3.6% increase from 2013, Bruce Japsen reports for Forbes. Specialists had an average compensation in 2014 of $411,852, roughly a 2.4% jump from the previous year.

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And since 2012, MGMA found that PCP's pay has increased by more than 9%, while specialists' pay has increased by nearly 4%.

The compensation increases among PCPs can be attributed in part to providers shifting from fee-for-service to value-based payment models, Japsen writes. That shift has led to a "buyer's market" for PCPs, says MGMA CEO Halee Fischer-Wright.

The problem with physician compensation

Pay for PCPs has become increasingly performance-based in recent years, according to the report. Almost 11% of PCP payments came from value-based contracts last year, compared with 6.7% in 2013 and 3% in 2012.

Fischer-Wright predicts that the percentage will jump to between 25% and 33% within two to three years (Japsen, Forbes, 7/7).

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