Increasing Pay Demands by Medical Assistants and Other Staff

Concordis Team Members are regularly contacted by our San Antonio area practice management colleagues asking about the pay range for a Medical Assistant (MA). Our practice management colleagues also tell us that the MA position is one of the more difficult positions to hire, and the turnover is constant.

In 2014, BKD LLP, a local CPA firm, completed a medical staff salary survey for the San Antonio Medical Group Management Association, a local chapter of the Medical Group Management Association, based on survey responses from nearly 50 local medical practices of various sizes. The SAMGMA Salary Survey is only available to SAMGMA Members. In this survey, the average pay range for an MA was $12 – $15 an hour based on the type and size of the medical practice. Let’s agree the median pay would be $13.50 an hour.

In the past year, our medical practice colleagues tell us that many recent graduate MA candidates are asking for $16 – $18 an hour. Let’s agree the median pay requested is $17 an hour, or $3.50 an hour more than 2014. The annual effect for payroll is an additional $7,280 per full-time MA.

When researching San Antonio area salary survey websites, we found the median pay for MA’s varies based on the website you search and years of experience of the MA. As an example, www.payscale.com states a recent MA program graduate should earn a median pay of $13.49 an hour, and www.salary.com states the median pay is $14.50 an hour. Both websites indicate a starting pay much less than the $16 – $18 an hour the entry level MA’s are requesting.

Based on www.payscale.com, a mid-career MA should receive a median pay of $14.46 an hour, and an experienced MA should receive a median pay of $14.57 an hour. The www.salary.com website states the pay for an MA with three or more years of experience should receive a median pay of $16 an hour. If medical practices are willing (or forced) to pay MA’s a higher salary, the trend for higher pay will continue. At the same time, medical practices are faced with ensuring they have adequate staff to provide quality patient care. It’s a dilemma that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.

While this article primarily focuses on the MA, our colleagues tell us the same trend is occurring with other positions, such as front desk, insurance verification clerk, and medical billers. As those of us actively involved in medical practice management know, the trend for medical practices has been flat or decreased reimbursement, and increased expenses. How will medical practices, regardless of size, be able to survive in the future with these cash flow trends? Will smaller medical practices look to hospitals or private equity groups to buy them? Will some practices decide to close? It’s difficult to determine the outcome.

Consider Concordis Practice Management, LLC to evaluate your staffing and salary ranges. Learn more about Concordis Practice Management, LLC at www.concordispm.com or call 210-704-1014 to schedule a consultation.

References:

San Antonio Medical Group Management Association – 2014 Salary Survey (available to SAMGMA Members Only)

Payscale:

https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Medical_Assistant_(Certified)/Hourly_Rate/ce7e70bb/Entry-Level-San-Antonio-TX

https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Medical_Assistant_(Certified)/Hourly_Rate/72f29cc8/Mid-Career-San-Antonio-TX

https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Medical_Assistant_(Certified)/Hourly_Rate/e8078c28/Experienced-San-Antonio-TX

Salary.com:

https://swz.salary.com/SalaryWizard/Medical-Assistant-Hourly-Salary-Details-San-Antonio-TX.aspx

https://swz.salary.com/SalaryWizard/Medical-Assistant-Hourly-Salary-Details-San-Antonio-TX.aspx

https://swz.salary.com/SalaryWizard/Medical-Assistant-Hourly-Salary-Details-San-Antonio-TX.aspx

 

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