business

Hospitals gain $1.5 million from each physician

Some primary care specialties tended to bring in less revenue; neurosurgeons topped the list at an average of $2.8 million.

By Victoria Stagg Elliott — Posted April 6, 2010

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Hospitals made more money per affiliated physician in 2009 than 2007, but these numbers varied widely by specialty, according to a survey of chief financial officers released March 17 by Merritt Hawkins & Associates. Revenue generated by primary care physicians declined.

"The most powerful tool in health care remains the physician's pen," said Mark Smith, president of the physician search firm headquartered in Irving, Texas. "Patients are not admitted to the hospital or discharged, tests ordered or procedures performed without a physician's signature. Hospitals depend on doctors to drive patient care, which in turn drives revenue."

The firm's "2010 Physician Inpatient/Outpatient Revenue Survey" found that physicians generated an average of $1,543,788 per year. That number was $1,496,432 in 2007.

The authors suggest the numbers went up in the 2010 survey, filled out by 114 hospital CFOs, despite the economic downturn because physicians and hospitals are more closely aligned through direct employment or other arrangements.

The numbers, however, differed by specialty.

Neurosurgeons were the leading revenue generators, earning an average of $2,815,650 for a hospital. Invasive cardiologists came in second, bringing in $2,240,366 for an institution.

The primary care specialties, which included family practice, general internal medicine and pediatrics, tended to bring in less. In fact, their overall average declined to $1,385,775 in 2010, down from $1,433,532 in 2007 and $1,596,852 in 2004. Internists brought in an average of $1,678,341. Family physicians earned a hospital $1,622,832.

Merritt Hawkins analysts said the primary care decline is likely due to the economic recession. With more uninsured patients, fewer are going to primary care physicians, resulting in fewer hospitalizations, they said.

The report is available online (link).

Back to top


ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE


Featured
Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story


Read story

Goodbye

American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story


Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story


Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story


Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story


Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story


Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story


Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn