University of Florida Health finds RVU-based compensation more satisfactory among staff

Despite physician pushback to adopting relative value unit-based compensation at some academic medical centers — like Charleston-based Medical University of South Carolina — an AMC in Florida found with time, their faculty was more satisfied and more productive under a compensation plan linked to productivity.

University of Florida Health, based in Jacksonville and Gainesville, implemented a new compensation plan using RVUs in 2013, according to a case study published in Academic Medicine. The health system elected a committee of junior and senior faculty and division chiefs to develop a self-funded, fair compensation plan that would incentivize productivity and professionalism in clinical work, research and education.

The previous payment structure at University of Florida Health was based on a faculty member's historical assignments and tenure. "This led to highly productive junior faculty subsidizing less productive but more senior faculty, which resulted in dissatisfaction with and distrust of leadership," according to the study in Academic Medicine.

Three years after implementation, the health system surveyed faculty and found 61 percent were more satisfied with the new compensation structure than the previous structure. Researchers found the health system paid 250 percent more in incentives to physicians, and publications per faculty increased 15 percent from 2012 to 2015. They also found grant submissions, external funding and teaching hours increased, although these increases were determined to be not statistically significant. The health system recorded no change in recruitment, retention or promotion rates.

University of Florida Health now plans to incorporate quality metrics into its compensation structure, according to the report.

Read more here.


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