A new survey has revealed that physicians and surgeons remain the primary sources of hospital revenue in the United States, generating an average of $1.56 million annually for their affiliated hospitals — each.
That makes physicians not only the centerpiece of the nation's hospital-care continuum, but also the greatest driver of actual hospital revenue, according to the report by Merritt Hawkins, a national physician search firm and, like Staff Care, a company of AMN Healthcare, Inc..
“The value of physician care is not only related to excellence in patient outcomes and patient experience,” said Merritt Hawkins President Mark Smith in a news release announcing the findings. “Physicians also drive the financial success of hospitals, even in a healthcare system that is evolving away from volume-based payments and toward value-based payments.”
Hospital Revenue Survey: Primary Care Physicians an "Excellent Return on Investment"
The survey, which was directed at hospitals' chief financial officers (CFOs), asked for a quantification of how much revenue physicians generated for their hospitals in the last 12 months, and across 18 different medical specialties. The date includes "both net inpatient and outpatient revenue derived from patient referrals, tests, prescriptions and procedures performed or ordered in the hospital," explains Bill Hethcock for the Dallas Business Journal in an analysis of the report.
Also noteworthy is the fact that the average revenue generated by hospital physicians across all medical specialties is up by more than 100,000 from the last such survey, up to $1,560,688 from $1,448,458 in 2013.
The hospital physician survey "included both net inpatient and outpatient revenue derived from patient referrals, tests, prescriptions, and procedures performed or ordered in the hospital," stated Phil Miller, Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins, Staff Care and AMN Healthcare, in the news release.
"Orthopedic surgeons topped the list of physicians examined in the survey," Miller added. "A full-time orthopedic surgeon generates an average of $2,746,605 a year on behalf of an affiliated hospital, an invasive cardiologist $2,448,136, a neurosurgeon $2,445,810 and a general surgeon $2,169,693."
Family physicians also generate an average of $1,493,518 in net revenue annually for the hospitals with which they're affiliated, and general internists generate $1,830,200, the report adds.
"The survey also provides a cost/benefits analysis showing which physicians provide the best return on investment by comparing salaries in medical specialties to revenue generated on behalf of hospitals. Family physicians, for example, averaged a starting salary of $198,000 in 2015, while generating 7.5 times that much in hospital revenue. Orthopedic surgeons averaged $497,000 in salary while generating 5.5 times that much in hospital revenue."
“Primary care physicians such as family physicians and general internists represent an excellent return on investment, which is one reason they have been our number one and number two searches respectively for the last nine years,” Smith added.
You can get a free infographic of the survey's findings here, and details on how to get a free copy of the full hospital revenue survey here.
We also invite you to learn more about the benefits of staffing locum tenens physicians here — or submit a physician staffing request today.