The latest report of physician salaries for 2020 reveals an upswing in compensation — then COVID-19 happened.
Every year, Medscape puts out its highly-anticipated physician compensation report. The annual survey details responses from more than 17,000 physicians in more than 30 specialties. The data for this year’s report was collected prior to February 10, 2020. Since then, the pandemic has impacted the healthcare community in a variety of ways, including financially.
Prior to the pandemic, physician’s salaries were on the rise. Primary care physicians earned an average of $243,000 per year, a 2.5 percent increase from 2019. Specialist salaries increased 1.5 percent to $346,000 per year.
About 42 percent of physicians reported having a net worth of between $1 million and $5 million, and 8 percent had a net worth of more than $5 million.
Orthopedics, Plastic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Cardiology, and Radiology were among the top five highest-earning specialty doctors. Primary care physicians continue to rank on the lower end of the earning spectrum.
Physicians who were self-employed earned an average of 20 percent more than employed physicians. Most physicians reported being satisfied with their compensation — with oncologists, emergency medicine physicians, and radiologists reporting the highest rates of satisfaction.
Male primary care physicians continue to earn more than their female counterparts — the difference is about 25 percent. Among specialists, the pay gap was about 31 percent — with men earning more than women.
Kentucky jumped six spots from last year to rank as the top-earning state for physicians with an average salary of $346,000. The rest of the top five include Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, and Utah.
In March, everything changed. Many of the specialties with the highest average incomes have likely taken the biggest financial hits. This is due to the inability to perform elective procedures over the last several months as a result of the pandemic pullback.
Medical group practices of all sizes and specialties have felt the direct and indirect financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis — and many fear it is only the beginning.
After the Medscape survey was conducted, here is how things in the healthcare community changed in a matter of a month or two.
- Ninety-seven percent of practices experienced a negative financial impact directly or indirectly related to COVID-19, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).
- The MGMA also finds medical practices experienced a 55 percent decrease in revenue and a 60 percent decrease in patient volume.
- In March 2020, 43,000 healthcare workers were laid off, as indicated by a jobs report from the Bureau of Labor statistics.
- A survey revealed 9 percent of independent medical practices were closed, at least temporarily
- Telehealth visits increased 225 percent due to patients’ fears about going to a doctor’s office in person.
The AFC Difference
The urgent care industry was also initially hit hard by the pandemic. Patient visits to urgent care centers declined 71 percent in March. But just weeks after that massive drop, patient visits to other urgent care facilities are still down, while visits to American Family Care (AFC) are now up 58 percent in a year-over-year comparison.
The turnaround can be attributed to two main pivots; Virtual Visits and COVID-19 testing.
AFC moved quickly to launch the AFC/Telecare portal which allowed providers in the American Family nationwide network of healthcare clinics to provide virtual visits to patients. AFC/Telecare services include assessment/screening of COVID-19 symptoms or any other healthcare problems, such as acute illnesses and trauma, help managing chronic illness and prescription medication as needed, all from the safety of the patient’s home.
The telemedicine option allowed franchisees to keep established patients and opened opportunities to boost new patient numbers.
Key relationships with healthcare heavyweights such as Abbott Laboratories allowed AFC to be named the first healthcare provider in the country to provide the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for the detection of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. The national recognition drove even more patients to AFC clinics.
In good economic times and bad, AFC takes a proactive approach in finding new ways to bring affordable and accessible healthcare to patients as well as bring in new business for franchisees.
The company is constantly adapting and acting to ensure it remains a stable, consistent, and profitable leader in the healthcare industry. Click here to learn more about franchise opportunities at American Family Care.