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Medscape Otolaryngologist 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 Otolaryngologist 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 Otolaryngologist 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.

Otolaryngologists are among the top earners of all physicians. Still, otolaryngologist income is a bit down from last year's average of $461,000.

(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 Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

More than half of physician respondents (56%) said they have an incentive bonus. Otolaryngologists' average annual bonuses are 20% of the average total salary for their specialty. The average incentive bonus among physicians overall is 13% of total salary. (Results are shown only for specialties where sample sizes are sufficient.)

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Medscape Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

Seventy-one percent of otolaryngologists achieve more than three quarters of their potential annual incentive bonus. On average, otolaryngologists achieve 74% of their potential bonus, a somewhat higher percentage than for physicians overall (67%).

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 Otolaryngologist 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. Similarly for otolaryngologists, 35% said their potential incentive bonus influenced them to increase their work hours.

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Medscape Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

Male otolaryngologists earn about 14% 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 Otolaryngologist 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.

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Medscape Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

On average, otolaryngologists spend 13.4 hours per week on paperwork and administration, less than do 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 Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

At 13%, otolaryngologists rank at the lower end 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 Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

About one third of otolaryngologists said their practice uses nurse practitioners to treat patients. Around 4 in 10 said they use physician assistants, and about the same proportion said they don't employ either role for patient care. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

Of otolaryngologists who work with PAs and NPs at their offices, 59% said they helped increase profitability, while 38% 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 Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

Eight-four percent of otolaryngologists have no plans to stop services to Medicare and Medicaid patients, a greater percentage than for physicians overall (73%). (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

The large majority of otolaryngologists rely on payers. Half rely on fee-for-service and about one quarter on accountable care organizations for patient-based income. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)

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Medscape Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

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

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Medscape Otolaryngologist 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. Closer to one third of otolaryngologists said the same, while 23% cited making the world a better place and 22% said being very good at what they do was their top reward.

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Medscape Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

For otolaryngologists, having so many rules and regulations is the primary challenge when caring for patients.

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Medscape Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

Two thirds of otolaryngologists said they felt fairly compensated, up from last year's percentage (56%).

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Medscape Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

If they could go back in time, 81% of otolaryngologists would still choose a career in medicine. This is a similar percentage as for physicians overall (77%).

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Medscape Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

Of otolaryngologists who said they would choose medicine again, 90% said they would remain in the specialty—one of the higher percentages among physicians overall.

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Medscape Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

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Medscape Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

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Medscape Otolaryngologist Compensation Report 2020

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

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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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