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Cardiology compensation continues to rise; new interventional measures reported

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | August 28, 2020
MedAxiom, an American College of Cardiology Company and the premier source for cardiovascular organizational performance solutions, has released its eighth annual Cardiovascular Provider Compensation and Production Survey. The report reveals trends across cardiology, surgery, advanced practice providers (APPs) and non-clinical compensation that help cardiovascular organizations as they face a new normal and are reevaluating compensation models and the definition of work productivity.

Key findings include:

All regions of the country reported increases in median total cardiology compensation with the South remaining in the lead.

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Electrophysiologists ($678,495) and interventional physicians ($674,910) are the top earners. Although the gap has narrowed over the years, cardiologists in integrated ownership models out-earn private physicians at every subspecialty level.

Data showed 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 Work Relative Value Unit (wRVU) production per FTE, yet their compensation per wRVU is high compared to other specialties.

There was a decline in discharge volumes per cardiologist potentially due to procedures like elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) moving to the ambulatory setting.

"There are several national physician surveys that provide good data for cardiovascular provider compensation and wRVU production," noted report author Joel Sauer, MBA, MedAxiom's executive vice president of consulting. "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."

The comprehensive report provides data and expert analysis on compensation and production trends by subspecialty, geographic region, ownership model and more. It looks at the diverse set of data points and factors including compensation per wRVU, key cardiology volumes and ratios, diagnostic testing trends, and the roles of APPs, part-time physicians and non-clinical roles. Making their debut in 2020, MedAxiom has added new interventional measures: PCI acute myocardial infarction only and PCI chronic total occlusion only.

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