Stats and Trends on Urgent Care Provider Compensation

Urgent Care Provider Compensation Statistics:

Occupation                                                                   Median Salary

Urgent Care $245,606
Nurse Practitioners $96,537
Physician Assistant (Medical) $99,817
Physician Assistant (Surgical) $112,328
Occupational/Environmental Medicine $232,463
Physical Therapy $75,314
Family Medicine* $229,607
Emergency Care* $316,739

 

These statistics are based on the physician salaries reported by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) in the 2013 AGMA Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey

*These median salaries will be compared to the urgent care provider median salary later in the article, and are not included in the highest/lowest paid provider categories.

Highest Paid Providers

Physicians that specialize in urgent care and occupational/environmental medicine are the highest paid providers with median salaries of over $230,000.

Lowest Paid Providers

Mid-levels such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants are earning less than physicians, with median salaries around $100,000. Below them are physical therapists, with a median salary close to $75,000.

Trends

Urgent Care Provider Compensation GraphUrgent care centers that utilize mid-level providers are becoming more and more prominent. Utilizing mid-level providers such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants can increase efficiency in a center while being cost-effective as well. Since their salaries are less than half of an urgent care physician’s salary, clinics can staff two or three mid-levels instead of just one physician. More providers mean more patients that can be seen, which creates more revenue for a center. In addition, mid-levels often thrive in an urgent care setting.  Being able to staff more mid-level providers during peak season can also help increase a center’s efficiency and ensure quality care to patients.

A lot of urgent care centers are shifting away from pure-play centers, and incorporating more services such as occupational medicine and physical therapy. With these additional services, urgent care centers can increase the number of patients that they see. The 2013 AGMA survey did list the median salary for an occupational medicine specialist at over $230,000, but the increase in patients and services performed can help improve that. Furthermore, urgent care centers are known for their retail-type culture, so if patients have a good experience from a walk-in visit, they might be more inclined to try out a specialty service at a later time.

In addition, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) conducted a physician compensation survey in 2013 that included quality and patient satisfaction components. In the MGMA Physician Compensation and Production Survey: 2013 Report Based on 2012 Data, 3 percent of a physician’s total compensation and 2 percent of a specialist’s total compensation was based upon quality metrics. While these percentages are small now, MGMA has identified a trend and predicts that physician compensation will follow these metrics as reimbursement aligns more closely with quality of services and patient satisfaction.

“Quality and patient satisfaction metrics are not yet dominant components of physician compensation plans right now, however, as reimbursement models continue to shift, the small changes we’ve observed recently will gain momentum,” says Susan L. Turney, MD, MS, FACMPE, FACP, MGMA president and CEO. “It’s encouraging to see physician practices invested in patient-centered care and continuing to seek ways to better incorporate quality and experience into compensation methodologies.”

The median salary for an urgent care provider falls between the median salary for a family medicine provider and an emergency medicine provider. As of 2013, emergency medicine providers had the highest median salary of over $316,000. With an increase in the number of urgent care centers though, the demand for an emergency medicine doctor may decrease. As more patients choose to be treated at a walk-in clinic over the emergency room, urgent care providers have a chance to close the salary gap. In addition, as physician compensation becomes more affected by quality and patient satisfaction metrics, urgent care centers can use their retail-oriented culture to their advantage.

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