A recent survey conducted by physician data leader Sullivan, Cotter and Associates, Inc., revealed several key trends for doctor compensation over the past year. The 22nd edition of the survey included comprehensive coverage from 517 organizations and more than 98,000 medical providers across 240 specialties and roles.

Key findings from the survey
During 2014, there was continued progress in physician employment overall. In fact, 68 percent of the survey participants indicated that they had increased their employed physician and advanced practice clinic population. What's more, 66 percent of organizations plan on bolstering employment in these areas in 2015, showing that the future looks bright for the growth of the health care industry overall.

Becker's Hospital Review also broke down seven major highlights of the survey, some of which indicate lowered compensation increases. For instance, specialist physicians experienced a compensation surge of 1.9 percent during 2014, which is down from 3.2 percent during 2013. Surgical specialists fared slightly better this year with a 2.5 percent rise. Clearly, there are some pay gaps between medical and surgical specialists compared with primary care physicians.

"For many years, our survey results have shown a widening gap in the pay relationships between primary care physicians and specialists. The results from our 2013 survey demonstrate a slight shift in the market and these pay relationships. This is consistent with the ever-increasing labor market demand for primary care physicians. With the expanded health care coverage and emphasis on preventative care, population health management and cost control, primary care physicians are in high demand as they are at the forefront of ensuring successful implementation of these initiatives," Kim Mobley, managing principal and national physician compensation practice leader, explained, according to Yahoo Finance.

Clearly, becoming a specialist means more revenue in terms of physician billing services. However, despite these pay gaps, the survey indicated that there are signs the health care market will remain steady and strong heading into 2015.

Compensation trends stay the same
These small increases echo a similar survey recently conducted by Physicians Practice. The source's findings indicated that 42 percent of doctors reported that their personal income was around the same as last year. Here are some more key findings outlined by Becker's Hospital Review:

  • More than half of respondents (51 percent) described their incomes as slightly or highly disappointing, with just 35.5 percent claiming that their net income was excellent or pretty good.
  • The biggest trend for increasing revenue was seeing more patients during the day at 33.3 percent. Others stated that they have taken on work outside of the practice (29.2 percent) or added ancillary services (23.2 percent).
  • Productivity was also a noted factor in the survey. Around 30 percent of respondents indicated that compensation is connected to their productivity levels, but 36 percent stated that productivity was not tied to their salary.

No matter your salary, your practice can experience increased revenue by implementing electronic medical billing into your practice.