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Pay is productivity-based for nearly 55% of physicians — 5 compensation insights

Salary and compensation based on productivity were the two most common payment methods for physicians in 2018, according to research published in December by the American Medical Association.

Based on biennial surveys of approximately 3,500 physicians, the AMA's data excluded physicians in solo practice because "their compensation is directly related to practice financial performance, which itself is partly driven by productivity."

More key takeaways:

1. The percentage of physicians who were paid by a single method dropped from 51.8 percent to 42.7 percent from 2012-18.

2. Two-thirds of physicians earned a portion of their income from salary, and for 56.9 percent, salary accounted for more than half of total income in 2018.

3. In 2018, nearly 55 percent of physicians received compensation based on personal productivity. More than half of income was productivity-based for 28.6 percent.

4. Less than half of physicians who had an ownership stake in their practice — 45.6 percent — reported receiving some compensation from salary. In contrast, 81.3 percent of employed physicians reported they had received salary-based compensation.

5. For 64 percent of physician practice owners, some compensation was tied to personal productivity. The share of employed physicians with some productivity-based pay was 49.1 percent.

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