Practice parameters and financial factors impacting developmental-behavioral pediatrics

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Community Health | Pediatrics | Preventive Medicine


OBJECTIVE: Little has been published about the professional activities of developmental-behavioral (DB) pediatricians. To better understand the settings in which DB pediatricians work, allocation of their professional time, and how financial considerations impact their practice, the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics surveyed its membership.

METHOD: An extensive on-line three-part survey was conducted in 2006-2007 assessing sociodemographic characteristics, practice descriptors, coding and billing practices, productivity goals and perceived pressures among Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatric's 438 physician members.

RESULTS: Of the pediatricians responding, representing all regions of the United States, 93% were DB pediatrics subspecialty board certified or eligible. The majority was practicing DB pediatrics full-time (73%); and 67% were exclusively in academic settings. All reported seeing patients, 84% reported teaching, 76% reported having administrative responsibilities, and 46% reported conducting research. Despite having non-clinical responsibilities, full-time equivalent positions included an average of 25 hours per week in direct patient care and 14.5 hours per week (37% of clinical time) in indirect patient care. Only 42% reported working with multidisciplinary teams. Salaries varied widely within and across regions. Deficits in billing/coding practices, awareness of personal clinical productivity, and familiarity with national productivity benchmarks were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: DB pediatricians work in diverse settings nationwide. They provide considerable time in indirect patient care, which is poorly reimbursed in general and relative to direct patient care. The results of this survey offer opportunities for provider, institutional and payer education.


J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2010 Jul-Aug;31(6):477-84.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID