Financial compensation for hepatologists in different practice settings.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)


Salary; hepatology; liver transplantation; relative value units


Several governmental agencies and private organizations monitor data on relative value units (RVU) and salary earned by various medical specialists. There are currently no data that defines the RVU production and salary earned by hepatologists. A web based survey that queried the number of patients a hepatologist cares for, RVU production and salary support was sent to 2,587 members of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. 391 members completed the survey. 229 reported spending more than 75% of their time in clinical practice/direct patient care and served as the basis for this analysis. The mean age of the cohort was 48 years, 77% were male and all regions of country were represented. Their mean duration in clinical practice was 11.4 years. Hepatologists worked in 4 practice settings; University Hospital with a Liver Transplant (LT) Program (UHLT, N=148), non-university Hospital with LT (nonUHLT, N=35), University Hospital with no LT (UHnoLT, N=29) and Community Practice (CP, N=17). The average number of patients seen monthly was lowest for hepatologists at a UHLT (154) and highest was for those in CP (293). Hepatologists at LT programs saw the highest percentage of patients with liver disease (91% of encounters), performed the fewest endoscopic procedures (12-17%) but received the highest compensation/RVU ($68-85) compared to hepatologists at UHnoLT and CP ($44-63/RVU). The mean base salary for all hepatologists with <5 >years' experience was $273,507 and this increased to $347,656 for those with >5 years' experience. We concluded that hepatologists at LT centers are compensated at much higher rates/encounter than in other practice settings. This may be due to salary subsidies provided by the UHLT and nonUHLT to their hepatologists. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Clinical Institute

Digestive Health