8 things to know about income, demographic trends for U.S. cardiologists

Income for American cardiologists continues to rise, with private physicians closing the gap on their integrated counterparts.

MedAxiom noted these trends Sept. 19 when it released its fifth annual Cardiovascular Provider Compensation & Production Survey. The report included data from 162 practices and groups, representing 2,337 full-time physicians, collected from 2008 through 2016.

Here are some highlights of the survey. All salary figures are based on a full-time equivalent:

  • Private physicians have increased their median revenue amount by more than $150,000 since 2013.
  • The difference in compensation between private cardiologists and their integrated peers is at its lowest in five years.
  • Electrophysiologists passed interventional physicians for the top earning rung, netting $607,336 on average.
  • Twenty percent of cardiologists are 61 or older and 45 percent are 56 or older.
  • Nearly 10 percent of cardiologists are female.
  • Overall cardiology production remained constant, despite predictions that shifting priority toward value-based care would reduce volume.
  • Private cardiologists outproduced those in integrated models by nearly 14 percent.
  • Physicians in the Northeast region earned the most income, with median compensation of $606,681. The West region was the lowest-paid geographically for the fifth straight year.

The report’s author said these data—specifically regarding the aging of the workforce—can inform future strategies.

“These findings come at a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty within the health care industry,” Joel Sauer, vice president of MedAxiom Consulting, said in a press release. “The somewhat surprising survey results are reflective of the need for data and analysis that helps us understand what is really going on, what we need to do to achieve the quadruple aim of health care, and where there are gaps. Obviously, creating economic alignment and strategies for dealing with physician slowdown are imperative.”

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