2010 July 29 Thursday
Physician Income Up In Recession

Medical doctors are keeping ahead of inflation - unlike most of the population.

According to findings in the American Medical Group Association's 2010 Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey, most specialties saw modest increases in compensation in 2009, but many provider organizations continue to operate at a significant loss.

The survey found that 76% of the specialties experienced increases in compensation in 2009, with the overall average increase around 3.8% (in 2008, when 81% experienced an average increase around 3.5%). The primary care specialties (excluding hospitalists) saw about a 3.8% increase in 2009 (same in 2008), while other medical specialties averaged an increase of 2.4% and surgical specialties averaged around 3.8%. (The primary care specialties saw about a 3.8% increase in 2008, while other medical and surgical specialties averaged 6%). The survey reports that during 2009, the specialties experiencing the largest increases in compensation were pulmonary disease (10.37%), dermatology (7%), and urology (6.36%).

Their income appears to be going up at twice the rate of inflation.

Heavy and growing government spending on health care buffers the income of medical doctors vicissitudes in the economy. I'll believe we've finally reached the limits of government and voter willingness to put up with medical cost increases when recessions become bad for the medical service providers.

Health cost increases are not sustainable.

The annual premium for a family health plan sponsored by an employer cost about 54 percent more in 2009 than it did in 2000, $13,027 and $8,437 (adjusted for inflation), respectively, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

During the same period, the average cost of an annual premium for a single coverage plan rose by 41 percent, from $3,308 (adjusted for inflation) to $4,669.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 July 29 11:03 PM  Economics Health


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