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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians have been struggling through intense challenges caring for patients while trying to protect their own and their families' health and well-being. Doctors' most critical concerns are those involving life and death. Still, while confronting this crisis, salary and income are important to one's career and livelihood.

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

The health impact of COVID-19 has been grave, and the financial fallout is widespread.

Many physician offices have closed or have greatly reduced their hours. Hospitals, clinics, and large groups throughout the nation are laying off staff and cutting salaries. Specialties that relied upon elective procedures have lost much or most of their business. Those include, but are not limited to, orthopedics, plastic surgery, dermatology, cardiology, and ophthalmology.

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

The data for this year's Compensation Report were collected prior to February 10, 2020, and reflect physician salary and income prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Physicians told us about their incentive bonuses, income, hours worked, greatest challenges, what gives them satisfaction, and more.

Survey respondents reported their compensation for patient care. For employed physicians, that includes salary, bonus, and profit-sharing contributions. For self-employed physicians, it includes earnings after taxes and deductible business expenses, before income tax. Only full-time salaries are included in our results. This report includes responses from more than 17,000 physicians in over 30 specialties.

Neurologists are among the lower earners of all physicians. Still, neurologist income is up from last year's average of $267,000.

(Note: Label values on charts have been rounded, but rankings and calculations are based on raw data to avoid rounding errors.)

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

More than half of physician respondents (56%) said they have an incentive bonus. Neurologists' average annual bonuses are 13% of the average total salary for their specialty, the same as for physicians overall. (Results are shown only for specialties where sample sizes are sufficient.)

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Fifty-eight percent of neurologists achieve more than three quarters of their potential annual incentive bonus. On average, neurologists achieve around two thirds of their potential bonus, the same proportion as for physicians overall.

Michael Belkin, JD, divisional vice president at Merritt Hawkins, a national physician recruiting firm, said that most physicians don't earn their entire potential incentive bonus, partly due to the fact that employers are concerned with Stark Law prohibitions against self-referral and want to build in "safe harbor" provisions that protect them from possible penalty. As a result, they may cap the incentive that a physician can earn.

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Close to one third of physicians overall who have incentive bonuses said the prospect of the bonus has encouraged them to work longer hours. A higher percentage of neurologists (41%) said their potential incentive bonus influenced them to increase their work hours.

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Male neurologists earn about 26% more than their female peers. Among all specialists, men earn 31% more than women, similar to last year's figure of 33%. There is a 25% gender pay gap among primary care physicians, the same as in last year's report.

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Among all physicians, the average time spent seeing patients is 37.9 hours per week. This is similar to the amount of time neurologists—both men and women—spend on face-to-face interactions.

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

On average, neurologists spend 16.9 hours per week on paperwork and administration, similar to physicians overall (15.6 hours). Intensivists top the list regarding such tasks, followed by internists, infectious disease physicians, and physiatrists. Ophthalmologists and anesthesiologists reported the least amount of time. (Results are shown only for specialties where sample sizes are sufficient.)

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

At 18%, neurologists rank toward the middle of physicians potentially losing money on denied or resubmitted claims. One study found that, on average, 63% of denied claims are recoverable, but healthcare professionals spend about $118 per claim on appeals. (Results are shown only for specialties where sample sizes are sufficient.)

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Twenty-nine percent of neurologists said they use physician assistants to treat patients, while 53% said they use nurse practitioners. Thirty-eight percent said they don't employ either role for patient care. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Of neurologists who work with PAs and NPs at their offices, 49% said they helped increase profitability, while 43% said these employees have had no effect on profitability. Physicians overall who use PAs and NPs were evenly split (47% each) on whether these employees have increased profitability or have had no effect on it.

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Two thirds of neurologists have no plans to stop services to Medicare and Medicaid patients, somewhat less than the percentage of physicians overall (73%). (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

The large majority of neurologists rely on payers. About one third rely on fee-for-service and a somewhat lesser proportion on accountable care organizations for patient-based income. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

A far larger percentage of neurologists expect to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System option of value-based care versus alternative payment models.

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

About a quarter (27%) of physicians overall noted gratitude from and relationships with patients as the main factor for their career satisfaction. Among neurologists, being very good at what they do and making the world a better place are the top rewards.

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

For neurologists, having so many rules and regulations is the primary challenge when caring for patients. Long work hours and dealing with difficult patients are also seen as contributors to a demanding profession.

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Fifty-three percent of neurologists said they felt fairly compensated, similar to last year's percentage (50%).

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

If they could go back in time, almost three quarters of neurologists would still choose a career in medicine. This is about the same percentage as for physicians overall (77%).

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

Of neurologists who said they would choose medicine again, 86% said they would remain in the specialty—around the middle of the pack compared to physicians overall.

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Neurologist Compensation Report 2020

Keith L. Martin | May 20, 2020 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2020

More than 17,000 physicians told us about their salary, incentive bonus, and denied claims, and how they feel about their career in medicine.Medscape Features Slideshow, May 2020
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