Compensation & Benefits

PAs practice in every medical and surgical specialty and have been collaborating with dermatologists for 30 years, providing a wide variety of services.

Goals for Mutual Satisfaction: A guide to PA salary structures

Many physicians are curious about hiring a Physician Assistant (PA) but do not know how to compensate a PA in their office. There are a wide range of salaries and compensation packages for dermatology PAs. For a full time dermatology PA, the range varies from $80,000/year to $400,000/year. Of course, new graduates and PAs who are training fall at the lower end of that range, while more experienced PAs can find themselves at the higher end of that range. The majority of PAs fall some place in the middle. Dermatology PAs are unique in that most are paid by a percentage of production instead of an hourly or salary structure. This is because PAs bill and collect the same as MDs and are not an employee similar to an RN or MA who cannot generate income for the practice. It is very easy for the billing office to create a separate category for a PA’s billing and collections (even though PAs bill through their SP some of the time). A full time experienced dermatology PA can generate anywhere from $500,000k-$850,000k for their practice per year and a Mohs PA can generate over $1,000,000 for their practice.

An experienced dermatology PA can expect to be paid between 30-40% of net collections to the practice. The question is, how do you know where your PA should fall in this range? This is unique to each practice and something that has to be discussed between a PA and their SP to make sure that both parties are comfortable with the percentage that is decided upon.Take a look at some factors to consider:

Expenses to the practice (lower salary percentage)

  • Paid vacation
  • Paid CME
  • Health insurance
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Cosmetic procedures are expensive to the practice
  • Matched 401k

Contributions to your practice (higher salary percentage)

  • Attracting your own patients and referrals
  • Marketing for the office- website, Facebook, newsletter, twitter, etc
  • Office staff perception of the PA
  • General dermatology time
  • Taking call
  • Office managerial duties

Although an experienced PA can expect 30-40% of net collections depending on their benefit package, some will not be comfortable without a “base salary”. A common trend is to have a base salary of $80,000-$ 115,000 and then 20-25% after a certain threshold has been met. This still equates to the same 30-40% of net collections but gives the PA a sense of security. In an ideal practice setting, this could equate to roughly 33% of the PAs collections for overhead costs, 33% for the supervisory duties of the physician, and the remaining 33% for the PA. It not uncommon for a full time PA to collect over $600,000 per year, which could then be distributed $200,000 for overhead and staff, $200,000 for the supervising physician and $200,000 for the PA. This can vary depending on the PA’s benefit package and years of experience. Some PAs have a higher percentage and many collect $700-800,000/year.It is important to have an open relationship between the PA and physician and review your billing and collections monthly together. It makes the best partnership when you can openly discuss any concerns with each other and you can help teach your PA to bill the most effectively for maximum collections to the practice. The most successful practices are situations where the PA feels like a valued member of the patient care team.The relationship between a PA and physician is a unique partnership based on trust and mutual respect. It should be a relationship where both parties feel comfortable and gain financial success together.

Kasey Drapeau D’Amato PA-C, MPAP

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