Home 2022 Compensation & Career Guide Survey Results The big picture: trends in bonuses and incentives

The big picture: trends in bonuses and incentives

September 2022

ACCORDING TO OUR 2022 survey data, nearly two out of three hospitalists (62.2%) earned a combination of salary and incentives. Only 4.2% reported income based purely on productivity. The remaining 33.6% said they earned straight salary.

A look at long-term data collected by Today’s Hospitalist sheds light on some trends in how bonuses/incentives affect hospitalist compensation. Here’s a look at some of those trends.

Yearly fluctuations
Ten years ago, hospitalists reported receiving 18% of their total income from bonuses and incentives, which translated to an average bonus amount of $41,517. The mean annual bonus/incentive amount reported in our 2022 survey is remarkably similar to that 10-year-old figure: $43,896. As a percentage of income, however, that number has dropped from 18% to 13.6%.

How bonuses are awarded
When we asked 10 years ago what metrics were used to calculate bonuses, 84% of hospitalists said productivity (number of admissions, shifts worked, RVUs) was the most common. Quality measures such as patient satisfaction scores and guideline compliance ranked a strong second at 67%.

Fast forward to 2022, and that order has flipped. Three quarters of hospitalists (76.2%) said that quality measures were used to calculate bonuses, and 59.7% said productivity was the main factor in bonuses. About two-thirds of hospitalists (62.3%) said that clinical measures were used to calculate bonus amounts.

Individual vs. group performance
In 2013, 35% of hospitalists said that bonuses/incentives were based on individual performance, while 19% said that bonuses were based on group performance. Nearly half (46%) said their groups used a combination of individual and group performance incentives to determine bonuses.

Ten years later, the combination of group and individual incentives has gained in popularity, with 53.6% of hospitalists saying their bonuses are based on both factors. Only 25.5% of hospitalists said bonuses were based solely on individual performance, and 20.9% said bonuses were based only on group performance.

Pandemic bonus
One in five hospitalists (21.4%) reported that they received a pandemic bonus. The average bonus was $8,831, while the most frequent amount reported was $5,000 and the median amount was $4,000.

Not surprisingly, pandemic bonuses varied by employer type. Academic hospitalists were most likely to receive a pandemic bonus (32.5% said they received a bonus) while those working for a national hospitalist management company were least likely to receive a pandemic bonus (6.9%).

Want to know more? An executive summary of hospitalist survey results is available for purchase here.

For more in this series, click here.

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