By Phillip Miller Dec 17, 2013
Merritt Hawkins’ recent Survey of Physician Inpatient/Outpatient Revenue indicates that, on average, physicians generate $1,448,458 in net revenue on behalf of their affiliated hospitals each year. Why is this revenue data important?
One reason is that this number illustrates the central role physicians continue to play in today’s evolving health system. Doctors in the U.S. handle about 1.3 billion patient encounters a year, according to the Center for Disease Control — some 300 million of them in the ED. It is the result of these encounters that largely determines the quality and cost of care patients receive. Through the hospital admissions they generate, tests and treatments they order, drugs they prescribe, and procedures they perform, physicians control 87 percent of healthcare spending, according to a Boston University School of Health study. This is why many healthcare professionals continue to rank the “physician’s pen” as the most powerful tool in healthcare.
At some point in the future, hospitals and physicians may be compensated largely on quality and efficiency metrics. The future has not yet arrived, however. A March, 2013 report from the Catalyst for Payment Reform indicates that the great majority of payments made by commercial health plans to providers (89.1 percent) are still based on traditional fee-for-service models. Merritt Hawkins’ new physician revenue survey offers further evidence that volume is still what drives the bus in healthcare.
If you’re interested in finding out how much revenue different specialties bring to your healthcare facility, Staff Care has created a convenient slide rule, based on information from the Merritt Hawkins survey, that provides an easy reference for information such as:
- The number of practicing U.S. physicians and advanced clinicians by specialty
- Daily charges generated by specialty
- Average monthly and annual revenue lost during a vacancy by specialty
- Percentage of clinicians age 55 or older by specialty
If anyone is seeing similar or contradictory patterns in physician revenue generation I would be happy to learn of them.
If you would like to receive a complimentary slide rule to use as an easy reference when making staffing decisions, please contact Kirsten Tracer at email@example.com.
Phillip Miller is vice president of communications for Staff Care and Merritt Hawkins, companies of AMN Healthcare (NYSE: AHS). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.