Physician Practice Benchmark Survey

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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 the practice arrangements and payment methodologies of physicians who take care of patients for at least 20 hours per week and don't work for the federal government.

The Benchmark Surveys have been conducted in every even year between 2012 and 2022. Policy Research Perspective reports, based on the surveys, provide detailed analysis of the data.

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The report on telehealth shows that while its availability is widespread, for most physicians, remote visits with patients account for a small share of all visits.

Telehealth in 2022: Availability Remains Strong but Accounts for a Small Share of Patient Visits for Most Physicians

This report (PDF) examines the availability and use of telehealth in physician practices in 2022. It finds that while the availability of telehealth has decreased since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains much higher than before. Only 25.1% of physicians reported that telehealth was used in their practice in 2018. This share more than tripled to 79.0% in 2020 and fell slightly to 74.4% in 2022.

Despite the widespread availability of telehealth across a range of practice types, only 10.0% of physicians provided more than 20% of their weekly patient visits via videoconference. Consistent with other research, the use of telehealth by psychiatrists was much higher than in other specialties. For more than half (54.1%) of psychiatrists, videoconference visits accounted for more than 20% of all visits.

Payment and Delivery in 2022: Continued Growth in Accountable Care Organization While Alternative Payment Methods Stagnate

This report (PDF) provides a detailed look at the extent to which physicians are in practices that participate in medical homes and accountable care organizations (ACOs) as well as involvement in alternative payment methods (APMs).

In 2022, 57.8% of physicians reported participation in at least one type of ACO (Medicare, Medicaid, commercial), up 14 percentage points from 2016. The data generally show consistent participation increases for each ACO type since 2016. Over a third of physicians (34.4%) were in a practice that was accredited or recognized as a medical home, up from 23.7% in 2014.

The data on payment methods show that 64.3% of physicians were in practices that received payment from at least one APM (pay-for-performance, shared savings, bundled payments and capitation). This is a slight decline from 2020 (66.8%) but still up 7 percentage points from 2012 (57.6%). Nonetheless, consistent over the 2014-2022 period, roughly 70% of practice revenue came from FFS and 30% from APMs. The data also show a shift away from complete reliance on FFS between 2014 and 2022, as the percentage of physicians indicating all of their practice’s revenue comes from FFS decreased by 5 percentage points.

Recent Changes in Physician Practice Arrangements: Shifts Away from Private Practice and Towards Larger Practice Size Continue Through 2022

This report (PDF) describes the changes in the ownership and organization of physician practices since the first Benchmark Survey was fielded in 2012. Between 2012 and 2022 the share of physicians who work in private practices dropped by 13 percentage points from 60.1% to 46.7%. There has been a redistribution of physicians from small to large practices. The percentage of physicians in practices with 10 or fewer physicians fell from 61.4% in 2012 to 51.8% in 2022, and the percentage of physicians in practices with 50 or more physicians grew from 12.2% to 18.3%. There have also been changes in practice type. Forty-two percent of physicians worked in single specialty practices and 26.7% in multi-specialty practices in 2022, reflecting a shift of about four percentage points since 2012 from the former practice type to the latter. The report also explores the reasons that private practices are sold to hospitals or health systems and describes the differences between private practices and those that are hospital-owned.

Medical Liability Claim Frequency Among U.S. Physicians

This report (PDF) presents estimates of claim frequency among U.S. physicians and explores whether the likelihood of claims varies by age, gender, specialty, Census Division and employment status. It finds that in 2022, 31% of physicians had been sued in their careers to date. It also finds that the risk of ever being sued varies significantly by specialty, gender and age. 

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