Anesthesia Compensation – The Highs and Lows

June 20, 2022

Anesthesia Compensation – The Highs and Lows

Summary:

In this informative article, we have combined high-level statistics and data about anesthesiologist compensation nationwide from two credible sources, both indicating there are overall marginal increases nationwide. Read more to compare the numbers with your anesthesiology practice’s physician compensation.

A 2022 survey conducted by the MGMA (Medical Group Management Association) compares compensation rates for anesthesia providers in the United States from 2020 to 2021. The survey draws data from 156 practices and portrays an up-tick in national compensation rates. Additionally, MGMA’s data allows us to provide an even deeper analysis of the survey’s findings based on specialization and geographic region.

General Compensation Overview

Across the board, from 2020 to 2021, the median salaries for both anesthesiologists and CRNAs increased, but by an insignificant amount. When comparing growth in the median wage percentiles to the higher wage percentiles (75th and 90th), the survey shows a greater pay increase for those who were already in the higher wage bracket. Nationally, the data shows anesthesiologists’ salary rose by about *$4,441 from 2020 to 2021. In the same year, CRNAs’ median salary was $198,071, showing growth of about *$5,733 from 2020.

Additionally, those whose wages met the median compensation level in the United States worked (on average) 2,080 hours per year. They were allowed 280 hours of vacation time and accumulated $37,500 worth of retirement benefits in that same year.

*Note that these numbers do not include benefits.

Compensation by Specialization

The report separates the data based on anesthesia specialization. These specializations include general practice, pediatrics, pain management, and cardiology. The following data shows the median total salary in 2021 for each specialization mentioned.

2022 Median Salary Report (Based on 2021 data)                                         

Anesthesiology: General Practice – $467,358                                                                         

Anesthesiology: Pediatrics – $487,733                                                                 

Anesthesiology: Pain Management – $510,606                                                  

Anesthesiology: Cardiology – $538,670

Based on the data shown, anesthesiologists whose practice was more specialized and centered around pediatrics, pain management, or cardiology earned, on average, higher wages in 2021 than those whose practice fell under the “general practice” specialization category.

Compensation by Region

In addition to specialization, the MGMA report dissected the compensation data based on geographic region. This revealed similarities as well as stark differences across the nation regarding anesthesiologist compensation in 2021. The report defines four regions – East, West, Midwest, and South. As you will notice in the data below, anesthesia providers in the Midwest and West saw an increase in compensation, however those in the East and South regions suffered decreases. Negative numbers are in red text.

2022 Median Salary Report by Region (Based on 2021 data): East Region

Anesthesiology – $400,018                                                                                            

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $192,378                                                   

Change from 2021 to 2022 Survey                                                                   

Anesthesiology – -$27,859                                                                                       

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $7,338

2022 Median Salary Report by Region (Based on 2021 data): Midwest Region

Anesthesiology – $510,994                                                                                         

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $198,666                                                  

Change from 2021 to 2022 Survey                                                                      

Anesthesiology – $37,004                                                                                            

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $5,351

2022 Median Salary Report (Based on 2021 data): West Region                 

Anesthesiology – $490,457                                                                                    

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $228,327                                                  

Change from 2021 to 2022 Survey                                                                 

Anesthesiology – $25,223                                                                                       

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $26,151

2022 Survey (Based on 2021 data): South Region                                

Anesthesiology – $452,834                                                                                      

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $200,436                                                  

Change from 2021 to 2022 Survey                                                                  

Anesthesiology – -$38,691                                                                                       

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $4,804

As mentioned earlier, this data supports the fact that those anesthesiologists in the East and the South experienced a noticeable decrease in average salary from 2020 to 2021. On the other hand, the average salary of those anesthesiologists in the West and the Midwest regions jumped significantly in the same time span.

Overall, CRNAs experienced more stability than anesthesiologists in 2021 as none of the four regions saw a decrease in average compensation. Although most regions only experienced a marginal increase, anesthetists in the Western region did see a sizeable surge in average income from 2020 to 2021.

Additional Information

Aside from the MGMA report, we would like to highlight another report that helps to assess anesthesia compensation in the United States. In Becker’s ASC Review, Patsy Newitt’s article titled “Anesthesiologist pay jumps 8%: 5 stats” cites a report by Medscape that collected information from 13,000 physicians across 29 specialties from Oct. 5, 2021, through Jan. 19, 2022. These are the five statistics from the Medscape report that are highlighted.

“1. Anesthesiologist pay hit $405,000 in 2022, compared to $378,000 in 2021, a roughly 8 percent jump.

2. Anesthesiologists reported an average incentive bonus of $68,000. 

3. Fifty-three percent of anesthesiologists said they feel fairly compensated. 

4. Eighty-six percent of anesthesiologists said they would choose the same specialty again. 

5. Anesthesiologists said they spend 10 hours a week on paperwork and administration, the lowest of all surveyed specialties.”

With the MGMA report dating back to 2021, the average salary information from 2022 given in this article helps to solidify the conclusion that anesthesia compensation is increasing year-over-year. Additionally, a healthy percentage of anesthesiologists are satisfied with their choice in occupation which can undoubtedly be attributed to fair and rising compensation in the anesthesia industry.

References:

Becker’s ASC Review – “Anesthesiologist pay jumps 8%: 5 stats” by Patsy Newitt

Published by Becker’s Healthcare                                                    

April 19, 2022

Medical Group Management Association – 2022 MGMA Survey Published by MGMA