In 2009, Practices Spent $68,274 Per Physician Interacting With Insurance Plans.
When time is converted to dollars, practices spent an average of $68,274 per physician per year interacting with health plans (Exhibit 3). The median value was $51,043. Although per physician costs are lower in practices of ten or more physicians, there was not a statistically significant difference in costs by practice size. Primary care practices spent $64,859 annually per physician—nearly one-third of the income plus benefits of the average primary care physician (median spending for a primary care practice: $47,707). Practices comprising primarily medical specialists and surgeons spent $78,913 and $66,954 per physician, respectively. In comparing the amounts spent across specialties, one should keep in mind that the hourly compensation for specialists is much higher than that for primary care physicians.