U.S. Physician Compensation Among Lowest


The United States may have a reputation for having one of the most expensive health care systems in the world, but it apparently is not because of physician payments. 

According to a study released in May by Jackson Healthcare, physician compensation in the United States is among the lowest of the major Western nations. 

Payments to physicians accounted for 8.6 percent of total health care costs in the United States in 2011. That was about $216 billion of the $2.5 trillion spent on health care. Only Sweden spent less on overall health care costs dedicated to physician compensation, with 8.5 percent allotted to the costs of paying doctors.

Germany topped the list for physician compensation, with 15 percent of its health care costs going to pay physicians. Australia was next at 11.6 percent, France at 11 percent, and the United Kingdom at 9.7 percent. 

"As we continue to debate how to reform health care, many often blame physicians' salaries for driving up the cost of health care," said Richard L. Jackson, chair and chief executive officer of Jackson Healthcare. "What this illustrates is that the compensation for American doctors is not what is driving up health care costs in our country." 

The data was provided by the Overseas Employment Development Board and a 2011 Physician Compensation Survey by Jackson Healthcare, a health care staffing and technology company. 

 Action, June 4, 2012