best-paying-jobs.1.95258564While physicians across all organizations are projected to see median salary increases for 2013, primary care salaries are projected to see a 2.5% increase, compared to a 2.3% increase among specialists, according to a recent report by the Hay Group. The report covered 132 physician specialties and 35 non-physician provider positions.

The growth is even greater for primary care physicians in hospital-based settings, who are expected to see a 2.6% increase (while specialists are likely to see a 2.3% increase for the second year in a row).

Hospital-based specialists can expect a 2% salary increase in 2013, while group-based physician specialists can expect a 3% salary increase.

Similar surveys have attributed this surge in salaries to the shortage of primary care physicians and their increased demand in anticipation of the Affordable Care Act implementation.

“As the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, primary care physicians will become more critical than ever to the viability of the healthcare system,” said Jim Otto, senior principal in Hay Group’s Healthcare Practice. “Given the growing shortage of primary care physicians and the expected increase in demand from patients seeking care, we expect to see salary increases for primary care physicians trend upward over the coming years as employers vie for the best talent.”

Additionally, the 2013 Hay Group study found that the prevalence of annual incentive plans for physicians remains steady at 63%. The following increases were reported for individual physician performance, compared to 2012.

Patient satisfaction increased 4 % (70% vs 66%)
Quality increased 9 % (86% vs 77%)
Outcomes increased 15% (54% vs 39%)