Compensation Issues

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Some MUSC physicians refuse to sign employment contracts over change to RVU-based compensation

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As an August deadline looms, 165 physicians have yet to sign employment contracts at Charleston-based Medical University of South Carolina due to confusion over a new relative value unit-based compensation plan.

The new RVU compensation plan ties a portion of physician's pay to the number of patients they treat. Physicians who fail to meet these volume-based standards will lose a portion of their pay. It was established to reward high achievers and track productivity.

MUSC spokesperson Heather Woolwine told Becker's Hospital Review there are various reasons why physicians haven't signed the new contracts. "Some have been traveling, some have asked for more clarification, and some may not sign due to natural attrition," she said. More than 40 clinical faculty members have signed contracts in the past four days, according to Ms. Woolwine.

Revealed in a faculty survey published on MUSC's website, the new compensation plan has yielded confusion and criticism from a majority of clinical faculty members, according to the Post and Courier. Leadership at MUSC recently pushed the July 31 deadline to August 15 to provide time for more discussion and clarification on the compensation plan.

"There has been a lot of talking and discussing, meeting, and meeting again with various groups of faculty throughout the implementation to address concerns, answer questions, and perhaps most importantly, dispel myths about this structure" Ms. Woolwine added.

Many hospitals in the Charleston area and other MUSC departments already use RVUs to determine physician pay, according to the report. 

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