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Compensation Decreases Indicated for Physicians


Released by Sullivan, Cotter and Associates, Inc.

CHICAGO, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Sullivan, Cotter and Associates, Inc. has published its 2007 Physician Compensation and Productivity Survey Report, the industry standard now in its fifteenth edition. The survey report outlines: base salary, total cash compensation and productivity by physician level; pay practices; incentive compensation; physician benefits and perquisites; resident compensation; hourly rates; on-call pay and more. This year, 263 organizations participated in the survey, which includes data for nearly 40,000 physicians, residents, PhDs, mid-level providers and medical group executives. Data is reported on 171 physician, PhD and mid-level provider specialties and seven medical group executive positions.

A full 17% of the survey participants reported a decrease in the total cash compensation levels for at least some of their physicians in 2007; this is slightly less than the 21% that reported decreasing compensation levels in 2006. Decreases to physician total cash compensation levels is primarily based on physician productivity levels.

Organizations continue to rely heavily on incentive programs to compensate their physicians. The key measures used for both specialists and primary care physicians are work Relative Value Units, collections and patient satisfaction. On average, incentive awards for specialists last year were 21% and awards for primary care physicians were 17% of base salary.

This year, for the first time, SullivanCotter surveyed emerging specialties such as Laborists, Surgicalists and Nocturnists. While the data for these specialties is still somewhat limited, it does let us know that physicians providing these services are beginning to emerge in the market. "Based on the data received by SullivanCotter, the total cash compensation levels paid to these physicians appears to be slightly lower than the compensation levels paid for physicians within their respective specialties. This may be because these specialties tend to attract newer physicians just out of residency," said Kim Mobley, Principal of SullivanCotter and the director of the survey.

Overall average salary increases in 2006 for specialists was 4.5% and for primary care physicians the overall average salary increase was 4.3%. Projections for 2007 are comparable to 2006. These figures are higher than recent years in which the average salary increases for physicians were hovering around 3.0-3.5%, noted Mobley.

This year's survey report also reveals that nearly one-half (48%) of the survey participants provide oncall pay to at least some of their physicians. The most commonly reported specialties receiving on-call pay are Orthopedic Surgeons, Trauma Surgeons and Neurosurgeons.

The 2007 Physician Compensation and Productivity Survey Report is now available for purchase. The cost to healthcare organizations agreeing to participate in next year's survey is $600, while the cost for healthcare organizations not wishing to participate is $1,500. For all other types of organizations, the cost is $3,000. A CD containing the survey data tables is also available for purchase by the organizations, which purchase the survey. To order a copy of the survey report, please visit the SullivanCotter website at or contact Janis D'Annunzio, survey coordinator, at 313/872-1760, toll-free at 888/739-7039, or email

Sullivan, Cotter and Associates, Inc. specializes in the development and implementation of strategic total compensation and reward programs for the healthcare industry. Since 1992, SullivanCotter has worked closely with healthcare organization executives, boards and compensation committees to devise innovative compensation solutions that attract and retain leadership and physician talent while satisfying not-for-profit missions and regulatory requirements. A leader in independent consulting, benchmarking, trends and analyses, SullivanCotter has also developed the most widely recognized physician and executive compensation surveys in the United States. SullivanCotter has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York City, Parsippany, San Francisco and Westport. For more information and to purchase the survey, visit or call 888-739-7039 toll-free.

SOURCE Sullivan, Cotter and Associates, Inc.
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