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What's limiting physician income in 2020? 'Personal choice' ranks in top 3

The COVID-19 pandemic was the leading reason for physicians' income limitations in 2020, followed by "personal choice" and "patient volume/load," according to The Medicus Firm's "2020 Practice Preference & Relocation Survey."

The Medicus Firm, a national physician search company, collected survey responses from 2,464 providers in its proprietary physician database and American Medical Association data in June and July.

In 2019, 23.1 percent of respondents pointed to a decrease in reimbursement as the leading cause of income limitation. In 2020, just 6.4 percent attributed a decrease in reimbursement to income limitation.

Causes of physician income limitations in 2020, ranked:

1. The pandemic: 50.5 percent
2. Personal choice: 10 percent
3. Patient volume/load: 8.1 percent
4. Other: 7.3 percent
5. Reimbursement decreases: 6.4 percent
6. Administrative work: 4.5 percent
7. Competition with other physicians: 3.3 percent
8. Overhead increases: 2.6 percent
9. No impact to income: 2.6 percent
10. Payer mix: 2.3 percent
11. Employer issue: 1.6 percent
12. Contract: 0.7 percent
13. Malpractice premium costs: 0.4 percent

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