Managed care and an increasing pool of doctors helped drive physicians’ incomes down last year for the first time in at least 14 years, the American Medical Association said Friday.
Preliminary survey data collected by the AMA indicates that the median earnings of all physicians dropped 3.8 percent last year to $150,000, said AMA economist James W. Moser. It had risen 4 percent in 1993 and 7.9 percent in 1992.
The AMA surveyed about 4,000 physicians nationwide for its 14th annual survey.
“It’s sort of premature to establish a trend with just one blip,” said Dr. James S. Todd, AMA executive vice president. “Managed care is factor, the number of physicians is a factor, the overall economy is a factor.”
Incomes have been driven down largely by employers seeking lower insurance premiums and insurers pressuring health-care providers to cut costs.