Hospital Revenues from Primary Care: Recruiting Firm Notes “Seismic Shift”

May 22, 2013
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A report from one of the largest physician recruiting firms in the country could give some heft to the specialty of primary care (whose disciplines include general internal medicine, family medicine, general pediatrics, and primary OB/GYN). Merritt-Hawkins calls a survey it commissioned as noting a “seismic shift” in medicine, reporting that Americans are spending more money on primary care physicians than they are on specialist care.

A report from one of the largest physician recruiting firms in the country could give some heft to the specialty of primary care (whose disciplines include general internal medicine, family medicine, general pediatrics, and primary OB/GYN). Merritt-Hawkins calls a survey it commissioned as noting a “seismic shift” in medicine, reporting that Americans are spending more money on primary care physicians than they are on specialist care.

primary care revenuesFor 2013, the median revenue per primary care physician ascribed by about 3,000 hospital chief financial officers is nearly $1.6 million, and it is a little more than $1.4 million for specialists. In 2010, the last time Merritt Hawkins did such a survey, primary care was at more than $1.4 million, and specialties were at nearly $1.6 million. Specialists have outpaced primary care in Merritt Hawkins’ survey, which began in 2002, continued in 2004 and has been conducted every three years since. The survey includes both inpatient and outpatient revenue generated for hospitals, and it does not give an aggregate total of the revenue generated by primary care and specialty physicians.

The article goes on to cite that greater access, afforded by the ACA, means greater emphasis on preventive care, subsequent primary care follow-up and health maintenance, and increased revenue by primary care as a whole. The recruiting firm that sponsored the survey does admit to commissioning it for the purposes of stratifying its ultimate hiring goals for hospitals, but it stresses that its findings are indicative of a healthcare industry in which Obamacare may be playing a more crucial role in modifying — from the supply side, at least. This is good news overall, and it represents news that primary care specialties need as they continue to struggle with the recruiting of medical students who have been shying away from (relatively) lower-paying primary care medical specialties. | LINK

(image: primary care / shutterstock)

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