phenomenon occurs because larger groups are often
in urban areas with higher costs of living, some larger
groups have better leverage in negotiating reimbursement rates due to their size, and larger groups simply
have more resources. We decided to test this theory by
analyzing median survey data in groups with 1-300
FTE physicians (small to midsize groups) and groups
with more than 300 FTE physicians.
With the important exception of primary care
physicians, we found an opposite relationship between
group size and pay for most specialties (see Figure 7).
In our analysis of the 28 largest specialties reported in
this year’s survey, we observed that median compensation at small to midsize groups was 3.7% higher than
in large groups. Median wRVUs were also higher in
small to midsize groups by 2.4%. Lower productivity
in large groups might be the result of more provider worktime flexibility due to larger department
headcounts or more significant non-clinical respon-
Analysis by Region
compensation in small to midsize groups might be due
to productivity and possibly the fact that it’s often
harder to recruit in rural group practice settings.
Generally, we advise groups to focus on national
data for benchmarking based on the reliability of
larger sample sizes. Nonetheless, regional data is commonly used, and we suspected a regional analysis of
the survey would offer some insight. We have found
some consistency in regional data. The west region
tends to have the highest median compensation by
specialty, followed closely by the north region which
includes the upper Midwest (see Table 2). Seventy-five
(75) specialties met minimum data reporting requirements in all four regions. Of those, 29 specialties in
the west have the highest median compensation, 27
in the north, and 17 in the south. Only 2 specialties
in the east have the highest median compensation.
Additionally, the east region includes 43 of the 75
specialties with the lowest median compensation.