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Employers of doctors changing pay models

Push toward value causes employers to shift focus away from production metrics

As more focus is placed on value rather than volume, employers of physicians are changing their physician compensation models.

The recently released results of SullivanCotter’s 2013 Physician Compensation and Productivity Survey Report found that one-third of the compensators surveyed are shifting from focusing on clinical productivity and work relative value units to metrics such as quality and patient satisfaction.

“As reimbursement shifts from fee-for-service to value-based, we expect to see some shifts in the balance of the compensation elements that comprise physician compensation plans,” Kim Mobley, managing principal and national physician compensation practice leader at SullivanCotter, said in a press statement.

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The overall median amount paid for quality in 2013 was $15,000, the survey found, but this varied widely from $7,000 median quality payments for primary care to $20,000 for medical and surgical specialties.

SullivanCotter, a healthcare compensation and human resources management consulting firm, surveyed 484 organizations covering over 91,000 healthcare providers.

Additional survey findings include:

  • 64 percent of healthcare organizations reported paying at least some physicians for call coverage (up from 48 percent in 2008).
  • Two-thirds of survey participants use non-compete agreements.
  • The use of hiring bonuses was reported by 74 percent of the survey participants.
  • 44 percent of physician employers provided benefits to physicians that were more generous than those provided to other employees, which is up from 37 percent in 2012.
  • Median total cash compensation for primary care doctors increased by 5.7 percent between 2012 and 2013, outpacing medical specialists (3.2 percent) and surgical specialists (2.3 percent).

This story is based on a report appearing on Medical Practice Insider.