Magazine article Medical Economics

AAFP Wants Change in RUC Composition

Magazine article Medical Economics

AAFP Wants Change in RUC Composition

Article excerpt

COMPENSATION

To increase parity between specialists and primary care providers (PCPs) and address the growing shortage of PCPs, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has called on the ???/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) to change its structure to give greater representation to primary care fields.

The AAFP wants the RUC to change its composition by adding four seats to the board for PCPs- one each for the AAFP, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, and American Osteopathic Association-and eliminating three rotating subspecialty seats.

A letter from AAFP board chairwoman Lori Heim, MD, to the RUC in June also suggested adding an additional four seats, three for external representatives, such as consumers or health plans, and one for geriatrics. Currently, the RUC has 29 members.

Heim's letter follows publication of the Medical Group Management Association's (MGMA) 2011 Physician Compensation and Production Survey, which showed that median compensation for internal medicine and family practice physicians increased from 2009-2010.

Internal medicine physicians' compensation rose more than 4% to a median of $205,379, and family practice (without obstetrics services) saw a nearly 3% increase to a median pay of $189,402.

On the other hand, orthopedic surgeons had a median compensation of $514,659, representing a 3.71% increase during that time.

PCPs earn $3.5 million less in total lifetime income than subspecialists, according to a report sponsored by the AAFP, driving medical students to shun general internal medicine, family practice, and other primary care fields. …

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