10 things to know about gastroenterology

Here are 10 things to know about gastroenterologists and GI/endoscopy procedures performed in the United States.

1. There were approximately 11,594 gastroenterologists in the United States from 1999 to 2005, or 3.9 gastroenterologists per 100,000 people, according to the American Journal of Gastroenterology report International Comparisons of Manpower in Gastroenterology. But call for colorectal cancer screening continues to rise and supply may not be able to meet the demand. By 2020, it is estimated that the United States will need an additional 1,050 gastroenterologists, according to a report by The New York Times.

2. In 2013, gastroenterologists earned an average annual salary of $348,000, according to the Medscape Gastroenterologist Compensation Report 2014. Here are nine statistics on average gastroenterologist compensation across the country.

•    Northwest: $368,000
•    West: $340,000
•    Southwest: $380,000
•    North Central: $378,000
•    South Central: $365,000
•    Great Lakes: $382,000
•    Southeast: $349,000
•    Northeast: $335,000
•    Mid-Atlantic: $319,000

3. On average self-employed gastroenterologists earn more at $395,000 per year, while employed gastroenterologists earn an average of $300,000. Here are seven statistics on gastroenterologist compensation by practice setting, according to the Medscape Gastroenterologist Compensation Report 2014.

•    Office-based multispecialty group practice: $404,000
•    Office-based single-specialty group practice: $395,000
•    Healthcare organization: $392,000
•    Outpatient clinic: $366,000
•    Office-based solo practice: $339,000
•    Hospital: $266,000
•    Academic (non-hospital, research, military, government): $239,000

4. Here are six statistics on gastroenterologist benefits, according to Salary.com.  

•    Social Security: $12,274 (2.7 percent of total compensation)
•    401(k)/403(b): $9,000: (2 percent of total compensation)
•    Disability: $3,243 (0.7 percent of total compensation)
•    Healthcare: $6,592 (1.5 percent of total compensation)
•    Pension: $15,750 (3.5 percent of total compensation)
•    Time off: $44,350 (9.8 percent of total compensation)

5. Gastroenterology represents the highest volume specialty performed in ambulatory surgery centers. GI/endoscopy procedures represent 27 percent of overall ASC case volume, according to VMG Health's 2012 Intellimarker Ambulatory Surgical Center Financial & Operational Benchmarking Study. GI/endoscopy procedures performed in ASCs in the Southwestern United States have the highest net revenue per case at $949, while GI/endoscopy procedures performed in Southeastern ASCs have the lowest net revenue per case at $663.

6. Of the 20 most commonly performed ASC procedures, seven are GI/endoscopy-related, according to MedPAC data. Here are the seven procedures by case volume.

•    Upper GI/endoscopy, biopsy: 8.1 percent
•    Colonoscopy and biopsy: 5.8 percent
•    Lesion removal colonoscopy: 4.5 percent
•    Diagnostic colonoscopy: 3 percent
•    Colorectal cancer screening, high-risk individual: 1.9 percent
•    Colon cancer screening, average-risk individual: 1.6 percent
•    Upper GI/endoscopy, diagnosis: 1.1 percent

7. In 2009, 6.9 million upper endoscopies, 11.5 million lower endoscopies and 228,000 biliary endoscopies were performed in the United States, according to the Medscape report Burden of Digestive Diseases. Each year gastrointestinal diseases create $142 billion in direct and indirect costs. In 2009, outpatient GI endoscopy examinations cost $32.4 billion.

8. Colorectal cancer is the number one cause of GI-related mortality. Colonoscopy has long been considered the gold standard of colorectal cancer screening, but there are a growing number of modalities. Over the past decade, the percentage of Americans up-to-date on screening recommendations increased from 55 percent to 65 percent. Colorectal cancer rates among Americans 50 and older over the past 10 years has dropped 30 percent. But, colorectal cancer continues to be the third leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States, according to the Colorectal Cancer Statistics, 2014 report.

Here are four statistics on the estimated number of new colorectal cases and mortality in 2014.

•    New cases (male): 71,830
•    New cases (female): 65,000
•    Deaths (male): 26,270
•    Deaths (female): 24,040

The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable has begun a campaign to increase the screening rate to 80 percent of eligible adults by 2018.

9. The global market for endoscopy equipment is expected to reach a value of $37.9 billion by 2018, according to a Markets and Markets report. The market is expected grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.1 percent from 2013 to 2018.

10. In 2013, general gastroenterology was the most in-demand GI specialty, followed by pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology, according to the HEALTHeCAREERS Network 2014 Gastroenterology Employment Fact Sheet. Job postings for general gastroenterologists rose 2 percent from 2012 to 2013.

More articles on gastroenterology:
7 gastroenterologists in the news
Are current endoscope cleaning protocols enough?
U.S. Multi-Society Task Force agrees good bowel prep is essential to high-quality colonoscopy

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