Published in the January 2019 issue of Today’s Hospitalist
What will your compensation plan look like in 2019? If the hospitalist group where you work is anything like the practices we interviewed for our cover story, you might be seeing less of your pay coming from salary and more from factors like the type of shift you work.
For years, groups have moved some physician income—usually no more than 20%—into bonus pools. While those incentives helped get physicians to focus on the key goals of their groups and their hospitals, some practices found they didn’t go far enough to reward hospitalists fairly for the work they do.
Some groups have moved away from guaranteed salaries to compensation models that pay on the types of shifts (and even units) that doctors work, as well as the patient acuity and volume they see during those shifts. Work all weekday shifts, for example, and you’ll earn less than colleagues who picks up nights and weekends. Work busy shifts with a lot of admissions, and you’ll earn more than colleagues working rounding shifts.
I suspect that the idea of shifting income from a guaranteed salary to what is essentially a production-based system is going to make some people nervous. But it sounds like this breed of comp model may be a good idea.
That’s particularly true as hospitalists continue to be pressured to take on new service lines: SNF coverage, for instance, or broader comanagement roles. Or to see more patients in perennially short-staffed practices—or be rewarded for driving down the costs of care in bundled payment programs.
On that cheerful note, I’d like to wish you all a healthy and happy New Year.
Editor & Publisher