WHEN WE RAN the last Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey in the summer of 2019 before the pandemic, average pay for all full-time hospitalists treating adults was $268,259. By the time we ran our next survey in 2022, that number had jumped to $337,501. That’s a gain of close to $70,000 and an increase of more than 25%.
That very sizeable jump was due in large part to increases for nonacademic full-time adult hospitalists. Their mean pay, for example, rose from $290,467 in 2019 to $339,463 in 2022—a 17% increase.
Other subsets of hospitalists had even bigger gains. Hospitalists working for local hospitalist groups, for example, saw a 27% increase from 2019 to 2022. At national hospitalist management companies, hospitalists reported an increase of 24%.
Pay between 2020-21
Because we didn’t run any surveys between 2019 and 2022, we decided to ask hospitalists about how their compensation changed from 2020 to 2021. When reporting on changes, full-time adult hospitalists reported an overall gain—averaging together raises, paycuts or neither—of 4.2%. From 2020 to 2021, pediatric hospitalists reported an overall drop in income of 0.2%.
Again, the numbers look different when you drill down into the data. Just under half of all full-time hospitalists who treat adults (45%) said their pay didn’t change at all from 2020 to 2021, and a similar number (42%) said their pay went up. For a small number (13%) of adult hospitalists, their pay was actually cut.
For all hospitalists treating adults who said their pay went up from 2020 to 2021, the average increase was 14%. The average decrease of those hospitalists who saw their pay cut was 13%.
On the pediatric side of things, 69% said their pay didn’t change from 2020 to 2021 and 13% said it went down. The remaining 18% of pediatric hospitalists said their pay increased that year.
For pediatric hospitalists who said their pay went up from 2020 to 2021, the average increase was 7%. The average decrease for pediatric hospitalists who saw their pay cut was 12%.
Academic hospitalists are one group that saw a much lower increase between our 2019 and 2022 surveys. During that time, academic hospitalists saw their average pay rise just under $24,000. That’s a 9% increase, which is lower than the mean for all hospitalists and much lower than spikes in compensation for other hospitalist subsets.
Other highs and lows from this year’s report:
• Practice type: Universities and medical schools had the lowest average compensation for hospitalists ($271,865), while local hospitalist groups saw the biggest paychecks ($363,489).
• Region: As always, the Northeast saw the lowest average pay ($312,037), while the Midwest came in with the highest hospitalist compensation ($361,236). The Southwest came in at a close second with average hospitalist compensation of $355,976.
• Group size: Groups with between 16 and 20 FTE hospitalists seemed to find the sweet spot in terms of pay. Average compensation at those groups was $347,523. By comparison, groups with 31 to 50 hospitalists paid an average of $334,593.
• Patient volume: Despite talk about moving away from fee for service, volume still pays hospitalists well, at least in terms of compensation. Hospitalists seeing 21 or more patients per shift reported earning an average of $393,538. Hospitalists seeing 10 to 14 patients per shift, by comparison, reported a much lower average compensation: $305,493.
Published in the November/December 2022 issue of Today’s Hospitalist
For updated survey data, see results from Today’s Hospitalist’s 2023 Compensation and Career Survey.