21/xsl/MobileMenu.xsltmobileNave880e1541/WorkArea//http://www.rsna.org/TwoColumnWireframe.aspx?pageid=2794&id=10731&ekfxmen_noscript=1&ekfxmensel=falsefalsetruetruetruefalsefalse10-18.0.0.0730truefalse
  •  
     
  • News App
  • To:
    From:
    Subject:
    Comment:
    Link:
      
  • Latest Radiology Compensation Data Show Ups and Downs

    December 01, 2013

    Incomes for interventional radiologists took a sizeable leap in 2012, while salaries for diagnostic radiologists dipped slightly for the second year in a row.

    Despite an overall slowing of compensation increases across all medical specialties, interventional radiologists (IR) saw their incomes take a sizeable leap in 2012, while salaries for diagnostic radiologists (DR) dipped slightly for the second year in a row.

    Of the 30 specialties surveyed for the 2013 American Medical Group Association (AMGA) 26th Annual Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey, more than 60 percent experienced compensation increases from 2011 to 2012. Nevertheless, the overall weighted average of 1.6 percent marked the third consecutive year salaries increased below the approximate 3 percent average threshold, according to AMGA.

    AMGA mailed the survey questionnaire to medical groups across the country in January 2013 and received responses from 280 groups representing more than 67,000 providers.

    The survey showed that the median compensation level for interventional radiologists was $504,277, a 4.02 percent increase from 2011 to 2012, while median compensation for diagnostic radiologists fell by 1.3 percent to $453,216 in that time. In terms of compensation levels, radiologists again ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, among specialties surveyed.

    Nevertheless, the sizeable salary increase in 2012 for interventional radiology actually falls in line with more moderate increases in other specialties, after factoring in the year-to-year percentage change from 2011-2013, said Brad Vaudrey, M.B.A., C.P.A., principal at Sullivan, Cotter & Associates, Inc., which administered the AMGA survey.

    “I was surprised by the 4.02 percent increase,” Vaudrey said. “We’ve seen a definite slowing down on the revenue side with radiology. It looks like a blip in compensation for this year, but if you look at it overall between 2011 and 2013, the average change for interventional was 2.5 percent. So overall, it’s still been fairly level.”

    Changing demographics among the medical groups surveyed could be a factor in the increase seen by interventional radiologists, Vaudrey said. Medical groups continue to merge and make acquisitions, which sometimes provide the acquired physician some guaranteed salary or one-time retention bonuses.

    “Our surveys show that groups are getting bigger,” Vaudrey said. “There’s a bit of a population shift underway. Medical groups as acquisitions are occurring in large numbers, and that includes radiology. Our demographics have traditionally been very much focused on larger multispecialty groups, and those are the groups that are acquiring these practices.”

    “We’re seeing increasing integration throughout the country, with groups affiliating or merging to form larger health systems to focus on population health,” said Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, AMGA’s president and chief executive officer. “Also, new payment models are emerging that rely on various specialties collaborating to achieve outcomes. Radiologists are a central part of any multispecialty medical group or organized system of care seeking to treat patients for their entire life span, so the specialty is still in high demand. These may be contributing factors to the increase in compensation for interventional radiologists. It will be interesting to monitor over the next few years as these trends continue to evolve.”

    Overall Flatness in Compensation Continues in 2012

    Compensation for primary care specialties increased by approximately 2.8 percent— the same increase as in 2011—while the survey showed compensation increased by only 1.5 percent for other medical specialties and even less for surgical specialties (0.5 percent).

    The troubled U.S. economy and uncertainty in payment reform models continued to be a factor in keeping overall compensation increases to below the approximate 3 percent average, which historically tracks at or slightly above the overall inflationary index, Vaudrey added.

    “Overall we’re seeing a relative flattening in compensation rates,” Vaudrey said. “In some cases we’re seeing decreases, but overall we’re anticipating a low-rise increase for the next year or two. We’re not going to see significant jumps like we’ve seen in the past for some of the surgical and medical specialties. I still expect primary care to experience bigger compensation increases down the line.”

    Cath lab cardiologists overtook cardiac/thoracic surgeons to become the highest-paid specialty, earning a median average salary of $547,112, a 4.27 percent increase from 2011. Cardiac/thoracic surgeons were second with a median salary of $525,944, a decrease of 3.33 percent, while orthopedic surgeons received a median salary $525,000, a 1.79 percent drop from the previous year.

    The biggest increases in annual compensation were seen in endocrinology (up 5.81 percent to a median $234,258), infectious disease (up 5.64 percent to a median $242,477), rheumatology (up 4.89 percent to a median $240,250) and anesthesiology (up 4.6 percent to a median $394,734).

    Radiology Continues Downward Trend in RVUs

    Relative Value Units are a measure of physician output based on the value assigned to each Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code through the resource-based relative value scale used partially by Medicare and nearly all health maintenance organizations. Reimbursement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is based on the RVU system, so overall revenue rises when RVUs increase, as they did in 2012. Overall, weighted-RVUs increased by approximately 1.5 percent across all specialties in 2012.

    According to the survey, RVUs for medical and surgical specialties remained flat, increasing 0.1 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, while RVUs for primary care specialties increased by 2.5 percent on average. The highest work RVU increases were seen in psychiatry (10.5 percent) and infectious disease (10.3 percent). Diagnostic radiology was next with a 6.32 percent average increase while interventional radiology saw only a 1.02 percent increase from the previous year.

    Over two years (2010 and 2012), the survey shows a downward trend in work RVUs for both diagnostic (-2 percent) and interventional (-7.5 percent) radiology. Experts believe this could be related to the recent CMS Medicare Physician Fee Schedule guidelines lowering fees for multiple studies provided to the same patient by the same physician during a single healthcare visit and for imaging contiguous body parts in the same session.

    “The CMS change has affected radiology to a great degree,” said David Yousem, M.D., M.B.A., a professor in the Department of Radiology, vice-chair of program development and director of neuroradiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and a nationally recognized expert on radiology economics. “RVUs are down because of the new way they are calculated. When radiologists conduct a chest and abdomen exam, the second study only gets credited for 50 percent of the RVUs, as opposed to the previous rate of 100 percent.”

    Overall Compensation Increases Likely to Remain Flat

    Vaudrey said he once again expects between a 1 to 3 percent increase in the year-to-year annual compensation rates across all specialties, including radiology. He also said an overall decrease in annual compensation is unlikely.

    “I don’t think we’ll see a decrease unless there is a decrease in the production level overall,” Vaudrey said. “We’ll see moderate increases for the next two or three years and the same with productivity. RVUs will probably remain fairly steady, barring CMS value changes.”

    Web Extras

    More information about the American Medical Group Association is available at www.amga.org.

    Brad Vaudrey, M.B.A., C.P.A.
    Vaudrey
    Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE
    Fisher
    David Yousem, M.D., M.B.A.
    Yousem
    American Medical Group Association (AMGA) 2013 Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey
    (Click to enlarge) American Medical Group Association (AMGA) 2013 Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey: 2013 Report Based on 2012 Data
  • comments powered by Disqus

We appreciate your comments and suggestions in our effort to improve your RSNA web experience.

Name (required)

 

Email Address (required)

 

Comments (required)

 

 

 

 

Discounted Dues: Eligible North American Countries 
Belize
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Grenada
Guatamala
Haiti
Honduras
Jamaica
Netherlands Antilles
Nicaragua
Panama
St.Lucia
St. Vincent & Grenadines
Country    Country    Country 
Afghanistan   Grenada   Pakistan
Albania   Guatemala   Papua New Guinea
Algeria   Guinea   Paraguay
Angola   Guinea-Bissau   Peru
Armenia   Guyana   Phillippines
Azerbaijan   Haiti   Rwanda
Bangladesh   Honduras   Samoa
Belarus   India   Sao Tome & Principe
Belize   Indonesia   Senegal
Benin   Iran   Serbia
Bhutan   Iraq   Sierra Leone
Bolivia   Jordan   Solomon Islands
Bosnia & Herzegovina   Jamaica   Somalia
Botswana   Kenya   South Africa
Bulgaria   Kiribati   South Sudan
Burkina Faso   Korea, Dem Rep (North)   Sri Lanka
Burundi   Kosovo   St Lucia
Cambodia   Kyrgyzstan   St Vincent & Grenadines
Cameroon   Laos\Lao PDR   Sudan
Cape Verde   Lesotho   Swaziland
Central African Republic   Liberia   Syria
Chad   Macedonia   Tajikistan
China   Madagascar   Tanzania
Colombia   Malawi   Thailand
Comoros   Maldives   Timor-Leste
Congo, Dem. Rep.   Mali   Togo
Congo, Republic of   Marshall Islands   Tonga
Cote d'Ivoire   Mauritania   Tunisia
Djibouti   Micronesia, Fed. Sts.   Turkmenistan
Dominica   Moldova   Tuvalu
Domicican Republic   Mongolia   Uganda
Ecuador   Montenegro   Ukraine
Egypt   Morocco   Uzbekistan
El Salvador   Mozambique   Vanuatu
Eritrea   Myanmar   Vietnam
Ethiopia   Namibia   West Bank & Gaza
Fiji   Nepal   Yemen
Gambia, The   Nicaragua   Zambia
Georgia   Niger   Zimbabwe
Ghana   Nigeria    

Legacy Collection 2
Radiology Logo
RadioGraphics Logo 
Tier 1

  • Bed count: 1-400
  • Associate College: Community, Technical, Further Education (UK), Tribal College
  • Community Public Library (small scale): general reference public library, museum, non-profit administration office

Tier 2

  • Bed count: 401-750
  • Baccalaureate College or University: Bachelor's is the highest degree offered
  • Master's College or University: Master's is the highest degree offered
  • Special Focus Institution: theological seminaries, Bible colleges, engineering, technological, business, management, art, music, design, law

Tier 3

  • Bedcount: 751-1,000
  • Research University: high or very high research activity without affiliated medical school
  • Health Profession School: non-medical, but health focused

Tier 4

  • Bed count: 1,001 +
  • Medical School: research universities with medical school, including medical centers

Tier 5

  • Consortia: academic, medical libraries, affiliated hospitals, regional libraries and other networks
  • Corporate
  • Government Agency and Ministry
  • Hospital System
  • Private Practice
  • Research Institute: government and non-government health research
  • State or National Public Library
  • Professional Society: trade unions, industry trade association, lobbying organization