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An insider resoure for salary comparison in specialty/state

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So I recently went through a contract negotiation with my boss. I am a surgical spine PA in S. Florida, Palm Beach County area.5 years eperience and I found myself having this surreal conversation regarding my value and compensation re: my collections, hours, performance, etc. and being told over andover again "This is what spine PAs make in Florida." So it occurred to me....What do you say to that? His information was purely anecdotal but so was mine. so I propose as a resource that we have a page here with location/salrary/bonus structure/hours/call, so that we can have a real apples to apples comparisonduring negotiations. Obviously there are many variables that go into what we think is an acceptable salary but it would feel great to be able to say in a contract negotiation, "No, actually 7 other local PAs with similar positions and these responsibilities make xxxxxx."

 

I'll start

117k annual salary, 10% of all IN NETWORK collections including hospital consults (this was as opposed to the originally proposed 20% of total collections above salary) I anticipate this being in the 80-100k (8-10k bonus) range. Although total collections last year between 250 and 300k

I work generally M-F fairly normal and somewhat flexible office hours. In the OR 2-3 days a week. 1st call on pager every other week and hospital rounding q4th weekend.

401k, 3% match

Individual, not family health, good policy

3 weeks PTO

Somewhat nebulous CME policy

 

SOOOOO. I'm not and I don't think anyone else is interested in lots of "You're freaking nuts to work for that. You're a sucker, etc.etc." If this can catch on I'm hoping it gives us a big advantage when employers, particularly in private practices where there is no union scale try to play on our lack of orginization. It could also be really vast and regional which would obviously be the most helpful. The more info, the more power.

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I'm not a PA yet, so I can't offer salary information.  I also don't understand the billing-bonus structure systems within the profession...

But, I'm interested to know why you chose 10% of in-network collections versus 20% all collections over above salary? Was there more incentive there, or a higher base salary?

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Sounds like you could really use the 2010 AAPA Salary Report.  Have you seen that yet?  I'm looking at it now and the median salary for spine surg PAs in Florida is $112,900, with the bottom 25% making less that $90,000, and the top 25% making more than $140,000.  If you include only those with 10+ years of experience, those numbers jump to $135,500 , $103,000 , and $152,000, respectively.

 

Bear in mind however, this is with a sample size of 14.

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Sample size is a big problem with this. Which is why it would be great if as PAs we could hook each other up a bit more. I know everyone is very precious about their compensation but  as you can see 14 people doesn't give a particularly clear picture. That said, yes I need to get that. My salary with bonus will end up around 127-130k. There is also variation regarding bonus source. I don't do epidural injections in my office for instance and my collections are primarily first assist and office visits. In spine, epidurals can be a big swing in bonus and total salary. 

 

As far as why I chose 10% in network vs 20% over salary, I didn't. My employer was pretty intransigent on that point and I was seeing what I thought was a fair bump for that year. Going forward however, the more ammo, the better. That's why the salary info in the report is helpful but those details all make a difference.

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Disappointing that there aren't 300 replies. I'm going to do my part:

 

In 2007 I left the hospital setting (@ that time making ~ $98K +'pretty good benefits)

 

MI suburbs (Yes...MICHIGAN in 2007!)

2007 - 2012: Derm/Phlebology $207k/yr, 6 wks vacation/ yr (this included sick time), short term disability for 1st 2 yrs (policy change & because of pre existing condition, boss gave me extra 4 wks vaca per yr "just in case" (10 wks total), thank goodness I never needed, but he paid me for unused when I left, long term disability (I paid partial), $2000 CME/yr, some years he sent me (& husband) to more, I didn't need health insurance so I was given $50/mo stipend, so-so dental, vision (I opted out), 401K, & free or discounted procedures & products. I worked full time (34-40 hrs/ wk), 4 days/ wk.

 

2012: Cosmetics/Phlebology $160/yr (+ "bonuses"....which I never saw). Left before year end after seeing too much of what I didn't want to see.

 

2012 - current (soon to be over): Pain Mgt - $65/ hr 4 days/ wk. "Part time"...10-12 hrs/d, NO LUNCH, NO BREAK, NO CME, NO NOTHING (including time for elimination). I voluntarily reduced my hrs to 3 d/ wk. soon after, my contract was broken, i.e., PAY CUT, not to mention verbal abuse, harassment, sexist, racist, anti-Semitic comments, etc. Did I mention SIX providers (PAs/NPs) have come & gone during this time frame?!

 

I'll be returning to hospital practice soon, & although I won't be making what I was making in 2007 - 2012, I won't have to put up with what I had to w my last 2 practices, e.g., unethical, illegal practices. I will keep you informed. My base will be $115 K plus bonus quarterly on BILLED, not collected. I'll be working with good physicians, support staff & office administrators (I've worked w them before). That, in itself, is worth more than $1M to me!

 

I'm not sure who we PAs think we are protecting by not being forthcoming with salaries, benefits, etc.? If, by being forthcoming with my salary I can help 1 other PA get, what I'm sure they deserve, WhoooHooo for me!!

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Sample size is a big problem with this. Which is why it would be great if as PAs we could hook each other up a bit more. I know everyone is very precious about their compensation but  as you can see 14 people doesn't give a particularly clear picture. That said, yes I need to get that. My salary with bonus will end up around 127-130k. There is also variation regarding bonus source. I don't do epidural injections in my office for instance and my collections are primarily first assist and office visits. In spine, epidurals can be a big swing in bonus and total salary. 

 

As far as why I chose 10% in network vs 20% over salary, I didn't. My employer was pretty intransigent on that point and I was seeing what I thought was a fair bump for that year. Going forward however, the more ammo, the better. That's why the salary info in the report is helpful but those details all make a difference.

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"....So I recently went through a contract negotiation with my boss. I am a surgical spine PA in S. Florida, Palm Beach County area.5 years eperience and I found myself having this surreal conversation regarding my value and compensation re: my collections, hours, performance, etc. and being told over andover again "This is what spine PAs make in Florida." So it occurred to me....What do you say to that? His information was purely anecdotal but so was mine. so I propose as a resource that we have a page here with location/salrary/bonus structure/hours/call, so that we can have a real apples to apples comparisonduring negotiations. Obviously there are many variables that go into what we think is an acceptable salary but it would feel great to be able to say in a contract negotiation, "No, actually 7 other local PAs with similar positions and these responsibilities make xxxxxx."...."

 

FLSPINE - just reread my post & yours. Just so you know, I am not a newbie. I've been a PA for a over 20 yrs, including my fair share of time in surgery, including Ortho surgery. I recommend that you contact Tricia Marriot,PA-C, AAPA Director of Reimbursement. I've heard her speak; she knows her stuff, &, as a former (possibly current? part time) Ortho PA herself, she KNOWS how to speak the language of PA VALUE to a surgical service. I was lucky, my 1st supervising MD, 21 yrs ago, not only understood, but valued my contributions to his general surgery practice in an academic setting beyond what I can describe. You can contact her on Twitter @TriciaPAC or via email tmariott@aapa.org

 

Best of luck in your negotiations.

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Thanks purrpa for contributing. Maybe we can pick up steam with this over time. I agree 100% about the need for balance. I was offered a higher paying position in the same area a couple years ago but I would've been miserable in that practice.

 

There's a lot of dirty practitioners out there and it means the world to be able to look myself in the mirror at night. Of course 200 plus still sounds pretty appealing. Don't know how to get this to catch on. Thoughts?

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FLSPINE, I just re-read your original post. To the statement, "This is what spine PAs make in FL..." I might respond, "Were not talking about other PAs, we're talking about MY value to you & this practice."

How reliable are your collection numbers? Are you compensated for call - or is this part of your salary?

 

When I was making > 200K - I got there by having this very conversation. I was, however bringing in 890k 1 yr, followed by 950k the following yr (I did a lot of procedures). Still, that same line was used on me. I was able to show my boss that I was making HIM a lot of $$...if he wanted to reusume taking call from these pts, dealing w all the paperwork, etc - I would be happy to re-negotiate my workload too. He didn't & gave me the $. The following yrs I brought in over 1.2M every yr..a good investment, if I do say so myself.

 

In the end - if you enjoy your work, your colleagues/physicians respect you - well, that goes a long way too. If it's not too late, I would have a health care contract lawyer review your contract. In my opinion, that is $ well spent. Personally, I would never sign another contract in a private practice without hiring a lawyer.

 

Good luck!

P. S. How long have you been w this group? Do u belong to LinkedIn? If so, perhaps searching for spine PAs in your area, connecting w a few & seeing if they are willing to share data. I know a local group of derm PAs & neurosurg PAs who did this & got interesting results to use w salary negotiations.

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