I wondered: how much more money does that extra payment from CMS represent for the average physician?
So I decided to do some back-of-the-envelope calculations to see what the investment of hours of studying the ABMS's proprietary materials, test-taking, board review courses, patient survey-taking, and practice improvement studies could garner for the average physician. Is there some real dollar-and-cents value to participating in this process?
To estimate this value, I made some assumptions to simplify the math:
- First, I assumed the Mediscape 2013 average male physician salary in America was reasonably accurate ($259,000/yr) and will not change this year.
- Doctor salary is taxed at a 24% rate after withholdings are considered.
- No time during regular work hours is devoted to performing any MOC requirement.
- The average US male physician works and average of 45 weeks per year, 5 days per week for their total salary.
- The doctors only see Medicare patients.
- Every patient office visit is billed as a 99213 (established patient visit - 15 min). (I know, not realistic, but simple to estimate)
- Doctors work 8AM-12 noon and 1pm-5pm daily, seeing 32 patients per day, every day they work.
- Income medicare pays the physician for each 99213 established patient visit is $69.66 and there is a 100% collection rate
(1) Given the above assumptions, how much more income will the average US male physician earn as a result of their total PQRS payment from CMS each year?
(2) How much does this additional PQRS income represent per patient visit?
(3) In your estimate, is this additional income worth the time spent away from your patients or your family events because of study requirements?
Please show your work (and/or your thoughts) in the comments.
Rest assured you will not be timed on this test nor will you receive any renumeration, CME credit, or MOC credit for your participation in this fun. Rather, it is hoped it helps educate physicians on what they'll be getting for their "required" $194 to $256 fee paid annually to the ABIM.
The first one to answer this quiz correctly will be officially crowned with the invaluable and highly-esteemed Dr. Wes Adminstrative Oversight Award®. (I added the trademark symbol to this fictitious award because I'm sure this exercise will be of great value one day.)
PS: In the interest of saving time for my busy colleagues who'd rather cut to the chase, here's a link to my back-of-the-envelope calculations. (Feel free to point out errors in the comments)