The Division of Economic and Health Policy Research conducts independent research to support AMA federal, state and private sector advocacy agendas. One of the Division’s most significant efforts is the Physician Practice Benchmark Survey, which focuses on physician practice arrangements and payment methodologies. The Benchmark Survey was conducted in 2012 and 2014. Access AMA Policy Research Perspectives based on the Physician Practice Benchmark Survey.
AMA’s Recent Policy Research Perspectives on the Benchmark Survey
3 Policy Research Perspectives based on the 2014 Benchmark Survey have been completed:
This report examines physician participation in medical homes and Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) as well as the prevalence of alternative payment models (APMs) and the extent to which they are used in different types of practices. In 2014, nearly one-quarter of physicians worked in practices that were part of a medical home and close to 30% worked in practices that were part of a Medicare ACO. Although 59% of physicians said their practice received revenue from at least 1 APM, fee-for-service (FFS) payment was still the dominant payment method used by insurers to pay physician practices.
This report provides a rare and detailed look at how physicians are paid by their practices. In 2014, 33 cents of every dollar earned by nonsolo physicians was received through pay based on productivity. Fifty cents of every dollar was received through salary. Just over half of nonsolo physicians said that their compensation was based on more than 1 method. This report also examines differences in compensation structure across specialty and practice type.
This report offers 4 viewpoints on physician practice arrangements:
- Whether physicians are owners, employees or independent contractors with their main practice
- What best describes their main practice
- The ownership structure of their main practice
- How many physicians are in their main practice
This study’s findings show that dramatic changes have taken place over the previous 30 years. Among these was the very large decrease in the share of physicians who own their practices, from approximately three-quarters to only one-half. In the short term, the share of physicians who worked directly for a hospital or in practices that were at least partially owned by a hospital increased from 29% in 2012 to 32.8% in 2014.