For the first time in three years, the annual American Medical Group Association (AMGA) compensation survey has documented a drop in compensation for noninterventional radiologists. The drop is slight — only 0.4 percent — and perhaps unsurprising considering that the ACR has reported that Medicare spending on imaging is the same today as it was in 2003.
The survey also may reflect the efforts of payors to try to reign in health care costs and combat physician shortages by increasing compensation for primary care. The primary care specialties saw about a 4 percent increase in 2011, led by family medicine which increased 5.13 percent. Other non-surgical specialties saw an average increase of 2.8 percent and surgical specialties saw an average increase around 3.4 percent.
It should be noted that the AMGA survey is fairly small and primarily relies on data from multi-specialty physician groups. The number of medical groups responding this year was 225 representing 55,800 providers total. The findings may therefore not apply to independent radiology practices or hospital radiology departments.