According to recent findings, while most physician salaries have been relatively stagnant for the past decade, anesthesiologist salaries in the United States have been continuing to increase. However, many anesthesiologists are not feeling the full benefits of this increase in compensation because their billing providers aren’t taking the necessary steps to collect what they are owed.
The Good News About Anesthesiologist Salaries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compensation for anesthesiologists has been continuously increasing. In a study reviewing the compensation data between 2004 and 2014, anesthesiologist salaries increased 12 percent, which is significantly higher than any other specialty. In 2014 specifically, the median salary was $246,650—almost $6,000 more than the salaries for surgeons. This upward compensation and growth trend is further verified in a comprehensive salary survey from Medscape.
Between 2004 and 2014, anesthesiology salaries increased 12% – significantly more than any other specialty.
If these salary numbers seem a little low to you, it’s because the Bureau of Labor Statistics average anesthesiologist salaries includes all “physicians who administer anesthesia prior to, during, or after surgery, or other medical procedures.” Given this definition we can assume these statistics include salaries from individuals still completing their residencies and those working part-time. We find that the average salary for the anesthesiologists we work with is closer to $400,000.
Currently, the upward trend in anesthesiologist salaries is supported by a high demand for individuals in the specialty, but that demand could begin to dwindle.
The number of anesthesiologist positions available is heavily reliant on other medical professionals – especially surgeons. It appears that there is a downward trend in the number of medical students becoming surgeons as compared to other specialists. This is likely due to numerous factors including the additional rigorous training required, length of residency, and student debt. According to Mr. DeKorte, “the ‘symbiotic relationship’ between anesthesiology and surgery might mean that a shift away from surgery could have a long-term negative effect on the number of anesthesiology positions available” – and therefore anesthesiologist salaries.
Regardless of current anesthesiologist demand or how demand might change in the future, every anesthesiologist should be getting fully compensated for the services they provide – but this is often not the case.
Struggling to Collect What is Owed
Getting paid in full for the anesthesiology services you completed should be a simple process. After services are rendered and claims are sent, anesthesiologists should be getting paid, in full, for their entire contracted rate. But for many anesthesiologists this is not the case.
What’s the problem?
Anesthesiology billing and collections is extremely complicated. Anesthesiologists can pretty easily collect the first 80% of what they are due in payments, but they have to fight for the remaining 20%. Most billing companies say that they will collect this amount on behalf of the anesthesiologist, but the fact is they just don’t. They don’t take the time and effort that is necessary to ensure that you’re receiving your full compensation.
It takes time and effort for billing companies to go after the last 20% of revenue you earned.
There are a variety of places where expected revenue can fall through the cracks:
- The coding process
- Creating clean claims
- Ensuring payers pay as per their agreement
As anesthesiologists get used to never receiving their full take-home, they begin to lower their expectations and simply accept that this is the way that the billing and collections process goes.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Our experts at Fusion Anesthesiology are dedicated to ensuring that anesthesiologists see the maximum return for their services and receive every penny that they have worked for. How can you get more take-home revenue for the work you are doing every day? By using a billing provider that fights for you and what you have earned.
A Better Anesthesiology Billing Company Can Increase Your Take-Home Compensation
Do you want to know if your current billing provider is maximizing your take-home compensation? Contact us for a no-obligation audit. We’ll look at the past six months billing and show you if you’ve been missing out on potential payments.