August 27, 2020

ACC’s MedAxiom 2020 Compensation and Production Survey Includes New PCI Measures

August 27, 2020—MedAxiom, an American College of Cardiology company focused on cardiovascular organizational performance solutions, has released its eighth annual Cardiovascular Provider Compensation and Production Survey. Joel Sauer, MBA, MedAxiom’s executive vice president of consulting, is the author of the report.

At the beginning of each year, MedAxiom surveys its membership, which represents more than one-third of all cardiology and cardiovascular groups in the country. Data for the 2020 report were collected over the 2008-2019 timeframe and include 168 groups, representing 2,363 full-time physicians, 1,458 advanced practice providers (APPs), and 119 part-time physicians (3,940 total physicians and APPs).

According to MedAxiom, the report reveals trends across cardiology, surgery, APPs, and nonclinical compensation that help cardiovascular organizations as they face a new normal and are reevaluating compensation models and the definition of work productivity.

The collected data contain financial, staffing, productivity, and compensation metrics, and a number of demographic measures.

The comprehensive report provides data and expert analysis on compensation and production trends by subspecialty, geographic region, ownership model, and other variables. It looks at the diverse set of data points and factors including compensation per work relative value unit (wRVU), key cardiology volumes and ratios, diagnostic testing trends, and the roles of APPs, part-time physicians, and nonclinical roles.

In 2020, MedAxiom has added new interventional measures for percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI): “PCI—acute myocardial infarction only” and “PCI—chronic total occlusion only.”

As summarized in MedAxiom’s announcements, key findings in the report include:

  • All regions of the country reported increases in median total cardiology compensation with the South remaining in the lead.
  • The top earners are electrophysiologists ($678,495) and interventional physicians ($674,910). Although the gap has narrowed over the years, cardiologists in integrated ownership models out-earn private physicians at every subspecialty level.
  • Groups in the top quartile for their deployment of APPs per cardiologist were able to maintain significantly larger (22%) patient panel sizes.
  • Advanced heart failure physicians reported the lowest wRVU production per full-time employee, yet their compensation per wRVU is high compared with other specialties.
  • Discharge volumes per cardiologist declined, potentially due to procedures like elective PCI moving to the ambulatory setting.

Mr. Sauer commented in MedAxiom’s announcement, “There are several national physician surveys that provide good data for cardiovascular provider compensation and wRVU production. At MedAxiom, we work hard to go beyond just providing the numbers to tell you what the data mean, digging deep into cardiovascular production irrespective of the location—be it hospital, office, ambulatory surgery center, and even at home. Looking ahead we see virtual care, hardly utilized in cardiovascular medicine prior to the pandemic, will play a prominent role in our survey beginning in 2021. This is an example of the continual evolution of MedAxiom’s survey and rich member data.”

MedAxiom’s president and CEO, Jerry Blackwell, MD, MBA, FACC, added, “Before virtual care delivery entered the spotlight, access was trending as one of the top issues for cardiovascular care. We face an impending shortage of physicians to care for the cardiovascular patient population and, in many programs, the inability to get patients into the practice due to location and/or capacity constraints. Practice managers and health systems alike are reexamining their approach to team-based care and expansion of care delivery into the ambulatory setting. In this climate, reliable and comprehensive data that go deep into the cardiovascular program are critical. The importance has been amplified as a result of the public health emergency.”

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