Hospitalist programs must ensure competitive hospitalist salary compensation and structure appropriate and effective incentive programs for their hospitalists and hospital medicine professionals.
Summarized from Hospitalists: A Guide to Building and Sustaining a Successful Program, J. Miller, J. Nelson, W. Whitcomb, Health Administration Press, 2008
No matter which method you choose, every compensation plan should include the following elements: easy to understand; easy to defend in public; complies with all laws and regulations; can be modified over time (do not tie to closely to current staffing / scheduling system); rewards good work.
These methods do not take into account unique challenges associated with starting a new practice, compensating nocturnists, compensating administrative physicians, compensating academic hospitalists, and transitioning to new compensation schemes.
Conclusion: Most groups should consider connecting tying some portion of compensation to productivity. Also, the compensation approach in many practices should include incentives tied to quality metrics (which might change as often as every year). To be effective, quality incentives should be substantial, representing 10 percent or more of total compensation.
The targeted total annual compensation for hospitalists should consider survey data, but more importantly should reflect the structure of the practice and the local marketplace. Many factors could justify compensation higher or lower than the survey data; the most important one is differences in workload between a particular practice and the survey data.
2014 State of Hospital Medicine Report (based on 2013 data)
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Designing Compensation and Bonus Plans to Drive Desired Behaviors
This 75-minute audio and video recording from the Society of Hospital Medicine’s (SHM) annual conference in 2008 identifies the issues involved in designing incentive compensation plans for hospitalists and cites specific examples of successful programs.
MGMA/SHM survey report shows that compensation model affects hospitalist productivity and salary.