I’ve written several times about the incomes of physicians, and the suggest the argument that is suggesting that high physician salaries compared to our foreign counterparts is a significant reason why US health care costs are so high. I’ve also been proposing to physicians that the market is pushing back, and that physicians can expect several or more years of continued flat and declining income in real terms.
My assessment and advice here is on a micro level – what individual physicians should do in response to what I perceive are market forces at play. That said, I do believe that physician reimbursement should be both revamped, in terms of shifting the emphasis away from procedures and more toward prevention and primary care services. The consensus – an old idea being revisited – is this aggressive preventive care will improve general health and reduce morbidity (and costs) in the long term. If that’s the case, then the reimbursement system should reflect that. In short, the incentives should be designed to reflect the goals and strategy for health care in the
So while I believe that physician fees will continue to be flat overall.
Standing alone out there, I still advise a conservative approach as we ride out the next few years. If you are seeing increases, good for you. But keep a reserve all the same.