New metric provides a better picture of physician earnings
Jan. 22, 2013
/CNW/ - Payments to physicians in
for clinical services exceeded
in 2010-2011, according to a new report by the
Canadian Institute for Health Information
CIHI reports that payments for these services grew by 6% in 2010-2011, less than the growth seen in 2008-2009 (9.7%) and 2009-2010 (7.9%).
Spending on physicians remains the third-largest source of health care spending, behind hospitals and drugs.
For the first time, this year's annual report on physician compensation,
National Physician Database, 2010-2011
, presents the average gross clinical payment per physician, including fee-for-service payments and alternative payments (including salaries, contracts, payments per hour and payments based on the number of patients in a physician's practice). This provides a more comprehensive picture of how much doctors are paid. Previously, CIHI's average payment indicators were based on fee-for-service payments only.
"The new metric provides a much clearer picture of physician compensation in
," says CIHI's
, Vice President, Programs. "This information will support governments and physicians in discussions about compensation."
The average gross clinical payment in 2010-2011 was more than
per physician. At 3.1%, this was the smallest increase in the last five years.
At the provincial level, average earnings ranged from lows of
Prince Edward Island
to highs of
. The averages were not adjusted to account for provincial variations in the number of part-time physicians, locums or visiting specialists.
Average cost per service increasing modestly
Canadian physicians across the country delivered more than 245 million services—ranging from annual physicals and diagnostic tests to surgical procedures—that were paid for through fee-for-service billings. While nearly three-quarters of the services provided by physicians were for consultations and visits, these services accounted for only about two-thirds of total clinical payments.