Hospitals Gaining Ground in Physician Recruitment


Hospital-owned practices were the most successful in attracting physicians in 2009. More than half (65 percent) of established physicians were placed in hospital-owned practices and 49 percent of physicians hired out of residency or fellowship were placed in hospital-owned practices, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey: 2010 Report Based on 2009 Data.

“Physicians are moving to hospital-owned practices for a number of reasons,” said Brenda Lewis, president of B.E.L. & Associates, Inc., and MGMA survey advisory committee member. “There is uncertainty of reimbursement for the future. Physicians are looking to sustain income to pay office overhead and have a paycheck to take home, and those with large Medicare populations are more likely to want to move to hospital-employed positions.”

Higher starting compensation could be one of the drivers for this trend as primary care and specialty care physicians in hospital-owned practices were offered more in first-year guaranteed compensation than those in non-hospital practices. Historically, freestanding practices have offered higher first-year guaranteed compensation to specialty physicians. The gap between first-year guaranteed compensation offered for specialty care physicians has been shrinking since 2007. Primary care physicians reported median first-year guaranteed compensation of $160,000 in 2009; specialists reported $230,000 in the first year.

MGMA’s data also show that:

  • First-year guaranteed compensation has decreased 2 percent since 2006 for specialists in single-specialty practices while primary care first-year guaranteed compensation increased 17 percent in the same timeframe.
  • First-year guaranteed compensation for specialty care physicians in multi-specialty practices increased by 3 percent since 2006. During this same period, first-year guaranteed compensation for primary care physicians in multi-specialty practices increased 14 percent.

About the Survey

The MGMA survey is produced in conjunction with the National Association of Physician Recruiters. It features data on more than 4,100 providers categorized by specialty and starting salary for more than 1,500 physicians directly out of residency. This year the report includes a new table that displays first-year guaranteed compensation by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services regions, new tables for loan forgiveness amounts, and expanded key findings offering analysis on location of placement trends. Visit

Middle-Class Uninsured Population Surges

Barely Hanging On Middle-Class and Uninsured, a March 2010 report from the non-partisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, chronicles state-by-state health coverage trends. Researchers at the State Health Access Data Assistance Center at the University of Minnesota averaged data from the U.S. Census Bureau from 1999/2000 and 2007/2008 and data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They found:

  • More middle-class Americans are uninsured. Nationwide, the total number of uninsured, middle-class people increased by more than 2 million since 2000, to12.9 million in 2008.
  • The average employee’s costs for health insurance rose, while income fell. Nationwide, the average cost an employee paid for a family insurance policy rose 81 percent from 2000 to 2008. During the same period, median household income fell 2.5 percent (adjusted for inflation).
  • Fewer people were offered, eligible for, or accepted insurance coverage through their jobs.
  • Nationwide, the percentage of people who worked for firms that did not offer insurance increased to 12 percent in 2008.
  • The number of workers who were ineligible for employer-sponsored insurance —even though their employer offered it—was 22 percent in 2008, meaning more than one in five people who work in firms that offer health insurance weren’t eligible for it.
  • The percentage of employees nationwide who did not accept employer-sponsored insurance increased three percentage points since 2000; 21 percent of employees offered insurance in 2008 did not accept it.

“The facts show that everyone is suffering right now, regardless of income,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “For middle-class families, changes in the cost of insurance far outweigh changes in income. That means a bigger piece of the household budget must go to insurance, or families have to go without coverage, delay needed care and face bankruptcy if anyone in the family gets seriously ill. Business owners can’t afford to shoulder more of the burden of health care costs. And states can’t afford the influx of laid-off workers into public programs. It’s a crisis in need of solutions.”

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