4 trends in physician pay  

New models of care, competitive labor markets and policies like the Merit-based Incentive Payment System are changing physician compensation programs, according to a survey conducted by consulting firm SullivanCotter.

SullivanCotter's 2019 Physician Compensation and Productivity Survey is based on data from 700 organizations and more than 206,000 physicians and advanced practice providers. Here are four key trends pulled from their responses: 

  1. Continuing a decadelong trend, total cash compensation increased in 2019 for physicians across all major specialty groups, including primary care, medical, surgical and hospital-based specialties. This is driven primarily by a tight labor market — organizations are offering increasingly competitive pay packages as they vie for the same talent. 
  2. While pay increases, productivity remains flat, or has even decreased slightly. SullivanCotter notes that primary care physicians have seen a 14.7 percent increase in total cash compensation, while work RVUs, a measure of productivity, have declined 0.2 percent from 2014-19. Hospital-based physicians are the only exception to this trend. They've seen 5.2 percent growth in median wRVUs from 2014-19. 
  3. Value-based incentives are becoming more common, especially for primary care physicians. Over the past year, the prevalence of value-based incentives as part of an overall compensation plan grew 5 to 7 percent across all four major specialty groups. 
  4. Value-based incentives are still a relatively small portion of total cash compensation. The median physician earned 6.2 percent of their total compensation from value-based performance incentives. 

Learn more here


More articles on compensation issues:

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Health system executive pay growth outpaces hospital exec pay
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