Researchers from the University of Michigan recently published results from an analysis of primary care physician compensation in the US. The analysis showed that compensation tied to factors like quality and productivity does not differ substantially by type of payment model.
The researchers looked at data from the National Survey of Physician Organizations and analyzed payment arrangements for 632 practices in the US. They grouped the payment arrangements into three categories: (1) practices with no substantial risk for their population and not participating in a Medicare accountable care organization (ACO), (2) practices not participating in an ACO but with substantial financial risk and (3) practices that were participating in an ACO.
They found that on average, physicians are paid similarly across all three arrangements. Physicians in ACOs are paid an average of 3.4 percent of their salary based on quality, while physicians not in ACOs but responsible for a substantial amount of risk for their population are paid an average of less than 1 percent based on quality.