Quality measures appear to be a small yet emerging component in determining compensation for physicians, a new industry report says.


Primary care physicians reported that 3 percent of their total compensation was based upon measures of quality, according to the 2013 Physician Compensation and Production Survey conducted by the Medical Group Management Association - American College of Medical Practice Executives (MGMA-ACMPE). Specialists, meanwhile, reported that 2 percent of their total compensation was based upon quality metrics.


Physicians responding to the survey also reported that patient satisfaction played a small role in their compensation. Two percent of primary care physicians' compensation and 1 percent of specialists' compensation were based on patient satisfaction measures.


"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," said Dr. Susan Turney, MGMA-ACMPE 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 report also indicated that median compensation for physicians fluctuated by specialty. In inflation-adjusted dollars, primary care physicians reported $216,462 in median compensation, and specialists reported $388,199 in median compensation.


The association represents 22,500 members who lead 13,200 organizations nationwide. Those physician groups' 280,000 doctors provide more than 40 percent of the health care services delivered in the United States.