Average signing bonuses have ranged from $20,000 to $25,000 over the past five years.
Hospitals and other physician employers are offering up to $200,000 in signing bonuses to fill key openings, according to Dallas-based Medicus Firm.
Average signing bonuses have ranged from $20,000 to $25,000 over the past five years, with most physicians expecting a five-figure signing bonus when recruited, said Medicus President Jim Stone.
“So, to really get a physician’s attention for particularly challenging searches, some employers are offering six-figure signing bonuses,” Stone said in a statement.
“Prior to 2014, the largest signing bonus offered to one of our physicians was $75,000,” he said. “In 2014, the highest signing bonus was $200,000. Already in 2015 we’ve placed a primary care physician with a signing bonus of $100,000 in a small town in New England.”
There is also a growing trend of signing bonuses for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as competition for those professionals intensifies, Stone said.
In 2014, 50-percent of non-physician providers were offered a signing bonus, compared to 11-percent in 2013, according to the firm’s annual provider placement summary. Additionally, the average signing bonus for a PA or NP increased from $3,000 in 2013 to $7,500 in 2014.
“What was once considered going ‘above and beyond’ in up-front bonuses is now the standard practice,” Stone said.
Over the past five years, signing bonuses have gone to 74 to 88 percent of physicians, NAs and PAs placed, according to Medicus. The top specialties placed are family practice, hospitalist and internal medicine, in that order.
Metropolitan area hospitals are finding it increasingly challenging to find enough physicians, particularly primary care physicians and hospitalists, which goes against the common perception for larger cities, according to Stone.
Stone said he expects to see more employers and recruiters offering significantly sizeable signing bonuses.
Medicus conducts the annual healthcare provider placement summary from among its client-base of 200-plus hospitals, physician groups, and medical centers nationwide.