Almost one-third of physicians participated in an ACO last year: Medscape

Most physicians reported a slight uptick in compensation last year with only rheumatologists and urologists reporting a decline in income, according to a new Medscape report.

Physicians who were self-employed last year tended to earn more money than employed doctors, but an increasing number of physicians continue to pursue employment in a medical group, hospital or clinic, according to the annual Medscape Physician Compensation Report, which surveyed about 19,500 physicians in 26 specialties. Medscape is part of WebMD Health Corp.

About 30% of the physicians surveyed participated in an accountable care organization in 2014 and an additional 7% said they plan to join an ACO this year.

The top paid physicians were orthopedists ($421,000), cardiologists ($376,000), and gastroenterologists ($370,000) when looking solely at payment for patient care.

Orthopedists, urologists, plastic surgeons and dermatologists make the most money from non-patient care activities such as product sales and speaking engagements. Orthopedists bring in on average $29,000 a year from such non-patient care activities, while anesthesiologists, pediatricians and radiologists reported the lowest compensation ($8,000 or less) for non-patient care activities.