Survey: Salaries for Hospital-Based Physicians to Rise in 2013

Physicians can expect slightly higher salary increases in 2013—2.6 percent increases, compared with 2.5 percent increases received in 2012—according to results from Hay Group’s 2012 Physician Compensation Survey. Survey results indicate that physicians working in group-based practices can expect the largest pay increases (3.0 percent), while those working in hospital-based settings can expect the smallest increases (2.0 percent). According to the survey, the use of employment contracts continued to grow in 2012 for both hospital-based and physician group practices. In hospitals, 70 percent of physicians had employment contracts, compared to 64 percent in 2011. In group-based practices, 67 percent of physicians had employment contracts, while only 56 percent had contracts in 2011. Survey results also indicate that quality and patient satisfaction measures are used most frequently for incentive payouts. For individual performance metrics, 77 percent of organizations reported that they used “quality” as a metric, and 66 percent relied on “patient satisfaction” to measure physician performance. Conversely, only 39 percent reported “outcomes” as a performance metric for physicians.

Georgia Prompt Pay Law Improved by Amendment

An amendment to an existing prompt payment law in Georgia is getting the attention of both physicians and insurance companies. Scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2013, the amendment will extend prompt payment regulations to third-party administrators (TPAs). Historically, state prompt payment laws apply only to traditional health plans; however, the Georgia amendment would require TPAs to pay clean claims within 15 days if submitted electronically and 30 days if submitted by mail. The American Medical Association and the Medical Association of Georgia support the amendment, indicating that without the law there are no deadlines for prompt payment for TPAs. America’s Health Insurance Plans is opposed to the amendment, believing it runs contrary to existing federal law that exempts self-funded plans from state insurance laws. The two sides are currently in the process of exchanging legal documents and preparing arguments. A lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court in Atlanta.