A newly-released survey finds that compensation for cardiologists grew to $542,000 in 2014. This represents a $30,000 increase from 2013 and brings the total close to the previous high of $548,000 in 2012. The increase may reflect an over-representation of private physicians in the survey released by MedAxiom Consulting, which bills itself as the nation’s top cardiovascular service line consulting firm.
The broad movement toward quality measures as opposed to volume is evidenced in the report:
Overall production levels, as measured by work Relative Value Units (wRVUs), fell for the fifth straight year. Median cardiology production for 2014 now sits at 9,538 per FTE physician. In a similar trend, total imaged stress studies fell back for a fourth straight year, dropping from an annual rate of 286 per FTE in 2013 to 272 per FTE in 2014. A significant contributor to this decline was the continued erosion of nuclear SPECT volumes…
Cardiac surgeons and vascular surgeons also had a good year, achieving a median 2014 FTE salary of $584,854 and $570,345, respectively.
The survey found dramatic evidence of the migration of cardiologists and other physicians from private practice to employment by hospitals or other healthcare systems. 73% of cardiology practices are now integrated with a hospital or health system, according to the report.