By Brenda Mooney, Special to AHC Media

ENGELWOOD, CO – Primary care physicians’ compensation rose faster in the past year than that of specialists, but their average salary remained more than 40% lower overall.

That’s according to the 2015 Provider Compensation Survey Report from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). The survey, conducted for more than 25 years, provides comparative data on nearly 70,000 providers.

The report notes that primary care physicians reported a median compensation of $241,273 last year, a 3.56% increase since 2013, compared to $411,852 for specialists, a 2.39% increase since last year.

“As medicine migrates toward a value-based paradigm, we've began to see movement away from pure productivity-based compensation models. We hope to see physicians’ salaries remain healthy throughout this transition,” said Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, MGMA’s president and CEO. “With the release of this data, MGMA provides executives, administrators and physicians the resources they need to help their medical practices flourish. Using this data, physicians and medical practices have the opportunity to put patient relationships back into the practice of medicine and get paid for it.”

The MGMA Provider Compensation Survey Report includes data for physicians and non-physician providers in more than 170 specialties, including demographic categories ranging from geographic region and practice setting (in small, medium and large groups) to years in specialty and majority ownership.

Another long-time survey, the 22nd annual Modern Healthcare Physician Compensation Survey, found that, between 2013 and 2014, physicians' average pay increased among 20 specialties but declined among three specialties. The magazine analyzed compensation data from 12 healthcare organizations, including the MGMA and the American Medical Association.

The largest increases in compensation were in the following areas:

·         Urology, 5%

·         Invasive cardiology, 4.8%;

·         Dermatology, 4.7%;

·         Gastroenterology, 4.2%; and

·         Radiation oncology, 3.9%.

 On the other hand, according to the survey, physicians' compensation in 2014 declined by almost 2% for oncology/hematology, and slightly dipped for plastic surgery and obstetrics/gynecology.