Hospitals Measure Doctors by How Much Revenue They Generate

By: Eric Bricker, MD

A survey of hospital CFOs by the Physician Recruiting Firm Merritt Hawkins found that doctors drive $1.56 million in hospital revenue per doctor per year by ordering tests, performing procedures, etc. 


Orthopedic surgeons generated the most at $2.75 million in hospital revenue per orthopedist per year.  


Interventional cardiologists generated $2.45 million in hospital revenue per cardiologist per year.  


General surgeons generated $2.17 million in hospital revenue per surgeon per year.  


Family practice doctors generated $1.5 million in hospital revenue per doctor per year.  


This emphasis on revenue metrics at hospitals may be a sign of misplaced prioritization away from patients and their well-being.  


Conversely, there are examples of innovative hospitals changing their metrics to put quality first… and even reduce healthcare costs.  


University Hospitals in Cleveland is one such example.  University Hospitals hired famous healthcare quality expert Dr. Peter Pronovost from Johns Hopkins to be their Chief Clinical Transformation Officer.  Dr. Pronovost and his colleagues decreased hospital-acquired bloodstream infections by 80% among many other quality improvements. 


At University Hospitals, quality improvement resulted in a 33% reduction in cost for their Medicare patients… showing that improving quality does not raise costs—it lowers them. 


Implications:  SimplePay Health’s alternative health plan is specifically designed to maximize a PPO network by ranking doctors and hospitals by the quality and then translating those rankings into different levels of copays for patients.  Higher quality providers—like University Hospitals–equal lower copays.  Lower-quality providers equal higher copays. 


The result:  Over 80% of patients on SimplePay alternative health plans choose the higher quality providers in their area—allowing better care AND lower healthcare costs. 




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