Home 2023 Compensation & Career Survey How are hospitalists paid: salary, productivity or both?

How are hospitalists paid: salary, productivity or both?

Hospitalists paid only on productivity are breaking the $400,000 barrier

December 2023

COMPENSATION MODELS for hospitalists have remained fairly steady over the years, with just over 60% of hospitalists reporting being paid based on a combination of a salary and productivity. Hospitalists paid solely on productivity may be few and far between—but they’re earning huge sums compared to their colleagues.

Data from our survey show that 60.7% of hospitalists reported taking home a combination of pay from salary and productivity, while 33.9% received only a salary and 4.9% were paid only on productivity. Survey data also show that the number of hospitalists being paid via salary, productivity or a combination of the two hasn’t changed much in the last five years.In our 2018 survey, for example, 62.3% of hospitalists reported earning pay from both a salary and productivity.

The dollar amount of hospitalist pay varies significantly based on compensation model. Hospitalists earning a straight salary, for example, earn less than everyone else. In our 2023 survey, for example, these hospitalists reported a mean of $319,075.

Hospitalists being paid via only productivity, by comparison, earned a mean of $403,957. (Only 18 hospitalists said they’re paid based only on productivity, however, so compensation figures should be taken with a grain of salt.)

And hospitalists receiving pay from a combination of salary and productivity, the largest group in our survey, said they earned a mean of $338,742. That number is just slightly below the mean compensation for all adult hospitalists of $339,438.

Employers seem to have preferences about how to pay hospitalists. Having hospitalists earn based solely on productivity is most popular among local hospitalist groups. Nearly one-quarter (22%) of hospitalists working for local hospitalist groups say they’re paid based on productivity alone.

Among hospitalists working for universities and medical schools, however, the salary-only model is more popular. Half of hospitalists who work in teaching hospitals said they received only a salary.

And hospitals and hospital corporations are most likely to pay their hospitalists based on a combination of salary and productivity. Our survey found that 67.2% of hospitalists in those settings are paid just such a combination.

Survey data also found regional differences. In the Southwest, for example, 47.2% of hospitalists reported being paid only via salary.

And in the South, 10.5% of hospitalists said they’re paid based only on productivity. Hospitalists in the Southwest came in a close second, with 8.3% saying their income is based on productivity alone.


For more on hospitalist salary breakdowns, check out our 2023 Compensation & Career guide here.

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