However, the math is simple. The average PCP has 2,500 patients and supposedly makes $180,000 a year. Therefore, the insurer is paying your primary care doctor $72 a year per patient—out of the $7,200 a year paid to the insurer. That’s 1% of the insurance premium. It works out to $6 a month (19.7 cents a day!) to have a highly trained professional overseeing your care.
We happily pay more for Netflix and consider it one of the best values around. Is your doctor worth less?
Even if you quibble with these numbers, consider that physician temp jobs pay $70 to $80 per hour—and doctors will see four patients an hour. That works out to $17.50 per visit, less than most co-pays. (Therefore, in many cases the insurer pays the physician nothing out of your insurance premium.) As for the $17.50 for the physician—that’s about $10 after taxes.
Given the amount of work that primary care doctors do, it’s simply inadequate compensation. And it shows.