< Compensation and Benefits Archives - Jackson Physician Search

Keeping up with the Dr. Joneses… and Other Ways to Sabotage Your Physician Job Search

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As an in-demand physician, the chances are pretty good that you have plenty of opportunities to consider when and if you are in the market for a new practice opportunity.  There is much more to think about when comparing opportunities than just base salary.  If you are experiencing feelings of burnout in your current position, then obviously you will want the new job to be structured differently.

Instead of jumping from the frying pan into the fire, choose an opportunity that is going to benefit your work-life balance rather than putting yourself into the same situation with a bigger salary.  Don’t fall into the trap of worrying about how much “so and so” makes, or what toys they have (The truth is they don’t have time to enjoy them!).

Focus on an opportunity that caters to the reasons you became a physician in the first place and allows you to enjoy the benefits of earning enough and having the balance to enjoy it all.  Let’s take a look at how physicians can weigh opportunities without worrying about keeping up with the Dr. Joneses.

Evaluate Your Options

How much is enough?  According to the BLS, wages for physicians are among the highest of all occupations.  Since there is such high demand for physicians, you should be able to find a position that has adequate compensation.  For you, personal motivations will play a greater role in answering the how much is enough question.

When moving to a new area, one of the factors that many people underestimate is the relative cost of living.  For example, some states have no state income taxes, others have very high taxes. The cost of living in a more rural area will be less than in a large urban area. For a quick thumbnail of how the cost of living compares between your current location and a new location, check out this cost of living calculator.

Another consideration that will impact your ideal salary is any current student loan debt and the plans for repayment.  According to the AMA, on average physicians are finishing medical school with close to $170,000 in student loan debt.  On the bright side, the National Health Services Corps is offering generous loan forgiveness grants and repayments for physicians entering certain specialties or relocating to underserved and rural regions.

The Bottom Line

Physicians in today’s healthcare environment should not be concerned about how much your annual salary is, but more about what you do with the money you earn, and if it is enough to fulfill your needs.  Are you planning to send your kids to private schools, take big annual vacations, or own property for camping getaways?  Whatever those personal goals look like, you should have the opportunity to make it happen.  The key is to have a sound financial plan and seek out the career opportunities that drive you closer to achieving personal fulfillment.

If you are ready to find a position that blends your financial needs with your personal needs, talk to a Jackson Physician Search recruitment expert today.  Or, to get a jump start on exploring any of our nationwide opportunities, check out our powerful job search tool here.

Read Between the Lines to Understand the 2018 Physician Compensation Surveys

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Each year, a variety of physician salary surveys are published with varying degrees of detail and context. Charts and tables deliver a wealth of information, but you need to read between the lines to understand how each report defines compensation and the larger trends driving it.

Here is a brief overview of recently published surveys to get you started.

Modern Healthcare Physician Compensation Survey

This leading media source publishes a round-up of compensation data for 23 specialties as reported by 12 organizations, from recruitment and consulting firms to industry associations. This three-page survey reports average starting salaries, rather than average incomes. Salary and bonuses are included, but insurance, stock options, and benefits are not. Data points include:

  • Average cash compensation for that specialty
  • Percentage change between the current and previous year

Key Takeaways:

  • Physician pay increases appear to be slowing, possibly due to the rise in hospital employment, where salary (vs. bonuses) make up most of compensation for physicians.
  • Although primary care specialties are among the lowest paid, they scored the highest average starting pay increases.
  • Emergency, internal, family, and hospital medicine physicians saw average year-to-year pay increases of more than 3%.

MGMA DataDive Provider Compensation Data

The Medical Group Management Association gathers W-2 data directly from practice managers at over 5,800 organizations nationwide, providing a dataset of approximately 136,000 providers. Their data offers a complete picture of over 140 physician specialties based upon practice size, region, metropolitan statistical area and more. Benchmarks include:

  • Compensation – Including total pay, bonus/incentives, retirement and more
  • Productivity – Work RVUs, total RVUs, professional collections and charges
  • Benefit Metrics – Hours worked per week/year and weeks of vacation

Key Takeaways:

  • Primary care physician compensation increased by more than 10% over the past five years.
  • Depending on specialty, the difference in compensation between states can be in the range of $100,000 to $270,000.
  • Family medicine physicians saw a 12% rise in total compensation over the past five years, while their median number of work relative value units (wRVUs) remained flat. This reflects higher signing bonuses, continuing medical education stipends, relocation reimbursement and other cash incentives to attract and retain physicians.

AMGA Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey

The American Medical Group Association survey represents more than 105,000 clinical providers. Participants are primarily large multispecialty medical groups and integrated health systems. The average number of providers per participant group was approximately 380. Data includes:

  • Compensation
  • Net collections
  • Work RVUs
  • Compensation-to-productivity ratios

Key Takeaways:

  • Although compensation per relative value unit (work RVU) was higher than average, 2017 was the first-year physician compensation increased by less than 2% in over a decade.
  • Compensation increased only +0.89%.
  • The national median showed a decline in physician productivity by a weighted average of -1.63%, possibly related to growing administrative burdens on providers.

Doximity Physician Compensation Report

Doximity is known as the largest medical social network in the country – with over 70% of US doctors as verified members. Their report draws on the responses of more than 65,000 licensed U.S. doctors in 40 medical specialties. Physicians who are verified Doximity users can access an interactive salary map to drill down on compensation data combined with housing cost insights.

Their public report focuses on year-over-year trends in:

  • Physician compensation across Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)
  • The gap in pay between male and female physicians
  • Absolute physician compensation across specialty, state, region, and gender

Key Takeaways:

  • There was a 4% increase in physician compensation nationally.
  • Less populated MSAs tend to have higher average compensation compared to larger cities.
  • The presence of large medical schools in an area ensures a stronger pipeline of doctors competing for a relatively fixed number of positions, which causes a dampening effect on compensation.

Medscape Physicians Compensation Report

Medscape is one of the most popular sources for physicians who use the report to access high-level salary trends and gauge how their peers feel about the challenges and rewards of practicing medicine. More than 20,000 physicians in 29 specialties responded to the online survey, and the results were weighted to the American Medical Association’s physician distribution by specialty. Information reported:

  • Annual Compensation by Specialty
  • Year-to-year Trends
  • Regional Averages

Key Takeaways:

  • Employed physicians comprised 69% of the respondent group versus 26% who are self-employed, with 5% not reporting.
  • Demand for specialists to help address behavioral health issues and the opioid crisis surged, highlighted by a year-to-year increase in psychiatry and physical medicine/rehabilitation.
  • Physicians cited altruistic reasons as the top three most rewarding parts of their job, with “making good money at a job I like” ranking fourth.

Physician Salary Calculator and Resource Center

To further contribute to the resources available to physicians, we offer a physician compensation resource center that includes an interactive calculator with data compiled from published industry sources, as well as proprietary data from our search assignments. Customizable calculator fields encompass the components that are typically included in a compensation package, including:

  • Benefits
  • Sign-on Bonus
  • Residency stipend
  • Relocation assistance
  • Student loan repayment
  • Bonuses for productivity and quality

The Physician Salary Calculator enables you to:

  • Easily access customized physician compensation data
  • Drill down by specialty, state, and type of location
  • Get instant results and have your report emailed to you

Your results will instantly show a competitive market-based scenario that breaks out base salary, benefits, hiring incentives and bonuses. The calculator is unique in its design for use with an offer in hand, or if you are considering relocation and want to see how far your current compensation would stretch in a different state or type of community.

In addition to the salary calculator, our resource center features relevant physician compensation articles and videos.

A Final Piece of Advice

For any practice opportunity, making an apples-to-apples comparison can be confusing. When negotiating, ask all the questions needed to fully understand the components of your compensation package. Industry insiders and experienced physician recruiters can be valuable resources. If you would like to speak to a recruiter, use the Contact Us form below.

Balancing Compensation and Culture for the Right Fit

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Balancing Compensation and Culture for the Right Fit is a look into compensation trends, quality of practice, quality of life, practice location, and how they contribute to culture and fit.

Jackson Physician Search_Balancing Physician Compensation and Culture

 

Balancing Compensation and Culture for the Right Fit

Finding the Right Fit

  • Comp
  • Quality of Practice
  • Quality of Life
  • Location

MGMA Data – Most used benchmarks

Compensation: Total compensation as reported on the W2.

Work RVUs: Reflects the relative time and intensity associated with furnishing a Medicare PFS (Physician Fee Schedule) service

Compensation to Work RVU Ratio: Total compensation divided by the Work RVUs

  • This reflects only the sample of individuals that had both compensation and wRVUs submitted.
  • This is an important aspect of the Provider Compensation.
  • So many organizations pay based on productivity.
  • This measurement reflects what those providers are paid per wRVU

Key Trends in the 2018 MGMA Provider Compensation Data

Primary care physicians’ compensation rose by more than 10% over the past five years

Depending on medical specialty, the difference in physician compensation between the highest-paid state and the lowest-paid state range between $100,000 and nearly $270,000.

Over the past five years, overall nonphysician provider compensation has increased at a rate of 8%. Looking at the changes over the past 10 years, the rate has doubled to 17%.

Successfully Benchmarking Compensation

Filter the data to get the most relevant data to compare against. MGMA filters include:

  • Organization Ownership (Hospital vs Physician owned)
  • Demographic Classification (Metro vs Nonmetro)
  • Geographic Section (Eastern, Midwest, Southern, Western)
  • Number of FTE Physicians
  • Practice Type (single Specialty vs Multispecialty)
  • Years in specialty
  • ETC.

Ensure you are looking at the correct group of physicians

  • Academic vs Non-academic
  • Newly hired providers

 

Download the entire Balancing Compensation and Culture of the Right Fit presentation by clicking the button below.

RVUs and Future Physician Compensation Models

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Recent surveys are showing a growing shift toward value-based incentives as a component of discretionary compensation, but production in the form of work RVUs are still the most prevalent salary factor.  To review, Relative Value Units (RVUs) are based on a scale originally designed to determine reimbursements from Medicare and/or Medicaid. RVUs represent a calculation of the effort expended by a physician when treating patients as a reflection of the time, skill, training required, and intensity of the service being performed. Using RVUs as a measure of productivity has been widely accepted because the scale reflects the reality that patient interactions are not equal.  For example, a physician treating complex or high acuity patients will earn more RVUs than one who treats ten low acuity patients in a day. For up to date RVU values, you can download the 2018 Physician Fee Schedule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Primary Care Physicians are in demand throughout most of the United States, even though the recent Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Physician Compensation Report results are not reflective of a high-demand market. The MGMA report along with the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) Compensation Survey show that physicians are receiving annual increases in the range of 1% to 4% depending on the specialty.  These modest increases are expected to continue in spite of the projected physician shortfall of between 42,600 and 121,300, as reported by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

According to the MGMA survey, the annual median reported RVUs was 4,928 in family medicine, 4,698 in internal medicine, and 4,902 in pediatrics.  Both the MGMA compensation survey and AMGA survey reported flat productivity in family and internal medicine, although pediatric RVU reports differed.  The AMGA survey results show a decline in median pediatric RVUs while the MGMA survey indicated a measurable increase in pediatric productivity.

The latest challenge for healthcare industry administrators has been adjusting physician compensation to model the shift toward value-based measurements.  In 2009, approximately 41% of medical groups related that at least some of their physician compensation had a value-based component as opposed to 60% in 2016.  Overall, value-based pay accounted for less than 7% of a physician’s total compensation.

As is often the case, Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements are driving much of the healthcare industry changes.  For example, look no further than the 2016 passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) which builds upon many of the payment and delivery reforms that originated with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. One of the stated goals of MACRA legislation is that 85% of all Medicare FFS payments will be tied to quality by the end of this year.

It may not be too radical to envision future physician compensation models that do not contain an RVU/production component.  More likely, as health care reform measures continue to push greater access, drive value over volume, and control reimbursement levels, RVUs may become largely irrelevant.

Are you having difficulty with physician compensation?  Our team at Jackson Physician Search can help.  Contact us today to learn more about our team of industry experts and what we can do for you.

Pros and Cons of Physician Compensation Models

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While the business of healthcare grows increasingly complex, fortunately, physician compensation models have generally become less complicated over time.  Even though there are still many different payment models in use, physician compensation structures are easier to manage and understand then they were in the past.  Physician payment models will never be a one-size-fits-all proposition for health system administrators.  The following is a brief synopsis of the pros and cons of the most popular physician compensation models.

Straight Salary

Using a preset level of income for physicians is the easiest model to understand.  Typically, the physician is contracted to achieve defined levels of productivity and quality.  On the pro side of a salary model, the physician has a sense of security and a guaranteed level of income.  The con aspect is that a straight salary model does not encourage innovation, or cost reduction efforts.

Salary Plus Bonus

As a means to encourage physicians to increase income, reduce costs, or achieve other predefined performance metrics, a salary plus bonus payment model may be in use.  It achieves the benefit of providing physicians with a guaranteed salary while also having an opportunity to earn a bonus. There aren’t as many cons with this popular method of compensation, although it is critical to determine the appropriate metrics for structuring the bonus.

Equal Shares

The equal shares model of compensation divides revenue equally among the group of physicians after expenses are covered.  This method is most common in smaller medical groups or specialty practices. One of the pros of an equal shares model is that there is a natural aversion to the overutilization of resources.  A downside of this payment model is that there is no incentive for creating efficiencies or higher productivity. In some cases, conflict is created when there is a perception that one or more of the group are under producing.

Pay-for-Performance

More physicians are finding that systems are implementing variations of a pay-for-performance model as a way to tie financial incentives to the achievement of predetermined performance goals.  An obvious benefit to this payment model is that achieving critical performance and quality targets are incentivized.  Physicians are being encouraged to innovate.  On the downside of pay-for-performance models is the complexity and administration of the program.

Productivity-based

Another payment model with many variations is productivity-based compensation.  In this model, physicians receive a percentage of their billings, or they are paid according to a scale that is based on procedures being performed or the type of patient visit. This scale, the resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS) assigns units to each activity a physician performs, called relative value units (RVUs).  An advantage of productivity-based models is that physicians are rewarded for extra effort, and they are also encouraged to be mindful of excessive overhead costs.  A negative result of RVU models is that it may lead to an overly competitive environment between physicians. Another criticism of this model is that while effort is rewarded, there is less consideration of outcomes.

While every compensation model currently in use has not been covered here, it is clear that are many different ways that physicians are being paid for their work.  Pay will always be a factor in determining your next career move, so it is important to understand how your salary is being determined.  Stay tuned to the Jackson Physician Search Blog for a deeper dive into compensation plans that are determined on RVUs.

Our team has decades of physician compensation experience. For personalized information about what we can do for you, contact us today.

JPS Recruiters Live: Deciphering Physician Compensation

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You can watch the recording of JPS Recruiters Live: Deciphering Physician Compensation on our Facebook page. (24 mins.)

If you are considering a job change or already interviewing, we can help you understand your compensation options.

When to Ask About Compensation

It’s important to know when to talk about compensation and what to ask. Wait until after a successful site visit to start talking about compensation. Ask what the employment model is. That will have a significant impact on taxes and benefits.

Guaranteed Salary

Then ask what the initial guaranteed salary is. Generally, the initial term is 1-3 years. In some cases, the term is negotiable, but be careful when negotiating. Asking for a shorter term may give the employer the impression that you are a job hopper.

Compensation Formula

After negotiating your guaranteed salary, ask about the formula used for determining compensation. This is usually productivity based. Meaning, you are going to earn to the level that you produce. Many factors come into play when employers calculate compensation. Percentage of collections or using an RVU model are common options. MGMA is the most common survey employers use to determine their compensation package. More saturated markets, like metropolitan areas, may pay less than rural areas. You can use our Salary Calculator to get a good idea of what to expect.

RVUs

There are some questions you should ask if your compensation or bonuses are RVU based. Your RVU threshold is specific to your base salary and should follow MGMA guidelines. Employers can interpret MGMA information in different ways. They may look at nation numbers or regional numbers, so ask about it. You should also ask what your dollar per RVU will be if you exceed the threshold.

Bonuses

Now that you have discussed your main compensation, it’s time to inquire about bonuses. Bonuses may or may not be available during the initial term of your contract. They are either productivity or quality based. Like your compensation, the basis of your bonus depends on many factors. Payer mix, overhead expenses, the percentage of self-payed patients, and RVU are examples.

Quality Bonuses

Quality bonuses are becoming more common. Quality of care is important to patients, physicians, and administration. Ask how you earn the quality bonus. Is it tied to patient satisfaction, throughput time, or paperwork completion? You should also ask what percentage of employees are earning the quality bonus. This will help you understand if it is attainable. The last question to ask about bonuses is, are they paid out quarterly or once a year?

Long-Term Earning Potential

Finally, ask about the level of productivity you’ll need to have to maintain your income. Another way of asking this question is asking about your long-term earning potential. You can also ask what you should expect once you’re established and how long it takes to get established.

Perks

Added to your compensation and bonuses, you might get offered perks. Don’t expect perks, but if you are considering several options, they are worth exploring. There might be a signing bonus in your offer. If you received an offer and it doesn’t include a signing bonus, you could ask. You should never ask about a signing bonus before receiving an offer. Your offer might include a commencement bonus instead of a signing bonus. You get a commencement bonus on the day you start your employment instead of the day you sign. Retention bonuses are becoming more common. A smaller signing bonus is paired with a retention bonus. They are rewarded for a re-commitment after your initial contract ends.

Relocation stipends are also becoming more common. The amount might be negotiable, and the payouts can vary. Requirements for receiving the stipend can be restrictive. Make sure you understand what it takes to receive the stipend before making arrangements.  Residents and fellows can get education stipends usually one or two years in advance of their employment. Another useful perk for younger physicians is student loan repayment. This perk can come from the employer or from an outside source. If coming from an outside source, you may have to apply. Check the amount of reimbursement you qualify for, what the term is, and what the forgiveness period is.

Benefits

Depending on your employment model you may or may not be eligible for benefits. Benefits can include malpractice coverage, paid time off (PTO), retirement, health insurance, a car allowance, or housing stipend. If offered malpractice insurance, the carrier and policy details will already be established. You should still take time to understand your coverage, what happens if a suit is filed, and what happens when you leave. PTO may or may not be negotiable and is generally 3-4 weeks. You’ll want to ask if that includes sick days, vacation, and CME days. Retirement benefits come in three main forms, a pension, 401k, or 403b. These depend on the employer, whether they are government, private, or non-profit. A car allowance might be available if you’re traveling to many facilities. Housing stipends are rare. They usually depend on housing limitations or distance from facility requirements.

Receiving an Offer

You will either get a letter of intent or a contract. A letter of intent is an outline of the offer. If you are unsure of any part of your contract you should contact an attorney. Take note, not all attorneys are familiar with physician employment agreements. Choose an attorney that is knowledgeable and can commit to a turnaround time that suits your needs. It is also beneficial to meet with an accountant to understand your tax burden and options. Once you sign a contract get a copy for your records.

If you want more help deciphering physician compensation, you can connect with Christen Wrensen on LinkedIn.

Relocation Tips under the New Tax Law

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In case you hadn’t heard, the new tax law eliminates the tax deduction for moving expenses and other job costs such as license and regulatory fees, required medical tests, and unreimbursed continuing education.  The following relocation tips will help make sure you have a great moving experience under the new tax law.

If your next job (or your first job) involves relocation, you need to know these seven relocation tips for optimizing your moving experience.

  1. Involve your spouse early. Understand their “must haves,” from the smallest details of the move to big picture issues like their earning power in the new location. Two heads are better than one; they will think of things you have not.
  2. Compare the cost of living. With your short list of locations in hand, assess the long-term economic impact of living in those communities. How far will your dollars stretch? Websites such as Sperling’s Best Places to Live can guide you.
  3. Research your moving costs. There could be a wide cost variance, based on distance and the volume of items you’ll move. Get a no-obligation quote from a moving company to help you quantify this perk and substantiate the amount you seek in your relocation package. Even if the hospital simply includes a flat moving allowance in your signing bonus, you want to be sure your costs are covered.
  4. Get the reimbursement policy in writing. It should include a detailed list of what will or will not be reimbursed. Be sure you understand their definition of “reasonable” expenses – because that’s what counts when the check is cut.
  5. Use an approved relocation service. If the hospital has a direct contract with a relocation service, working with them will save you time and help you avoid out-of-pocket expense when cash is tight. Alternatively, the hospital may provide a list of approved movers that you must use to be reimbursed.
  6. Keep every receipt. Your itemized credit card bill probably doesn’t provide enough documentation for reimbursement. The original, detailed invoice and receipts proving payment may need to be submitted.
  7. Reserve enough cash to pay your taxes. To avoid an expensive surprise at tax time, ask a tax adviser how relocation reimbursement and other incentives will be taxed in 2018. Then, be prepared to pay Uncle Sam what you owe in 2019.

Which relocation expenses are typically reimbursed for physicians?

Items that may typically be approved for reimbursement:

  • Truck or trailer rental
  • Professional movers
  • Amount paid for gas and oil for physician’s vehicle OR the standard mileage rate
  • Parking fees and tolls
  • Packing materials…boxes, tape, etc.
  • Lodging expenses (reasonable)
  • Airline tickets for physician and family members for one-way travel to new location
  • Shipment of one personal vehicle
  • Storage fees (30 days)

Items that are typically not reimbursable:

  • Pre-move house hunting expenses
  • Expenses of buying or selling a home
  • Expenses of entering into or breaking a lease
  • Temporary living expenses
  • Meals

Note: Starting in 2018, moving expenses are not tax-deductible.  Consult a tax advisor about how reimbursed expenses may be taxed.

With this relocation guide, you can put your moving expenses and cost of living differences into context with your overall compensation package.  For additional insight, see how your compensation compares across the country by visiting the Jackson Physician Search Salary Calculator and Resource Center.

Want to know more about how to select the right location? See additional articles:

In Your Job Search, Think “Location” Last: Really?

Residents, Avoid the Curse of the #FirstJob

Why the “Worst” Location Might be Better for Your Practice

 

Newest Physician Salary Calculator Customizes Results, Saves Time

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A physician compensation resource center, featuring an interactive salary calculator, is the newest resource offered by Jackson Physician Search to help doctors save time as they evaluate how to reach their earning potential. No registration or subscription is required to view instant results.

The mobile-friendly, interactive calculator compiles data from five industry sources, plus propriety recruitment data, to enable physicians in 24 specialties to evaluate multiple variables that influence their potential compensation package.

According to Tony Stajduhar, president of Jackson Physician Search, this new resource is an efficient tool physicians can use to evaluate practice opportunities. “Let’s face it: time and money both matter to physicians. So when it comes to exploring a new job, our resource center can save them time as they consider how multiple variables influence their potential compensation package,” he said.

“Even with data in-hand, we also recommend that physicians talk with industry insiders, experts and advisors to understand what is realistic in a given situation,” Stajduhar added. “Experienced physician recruiters can decode some of the reasons for variances and help a physician negotiate a fair, market-driven package,” Stajduhar noted.

Using the new salary calculator, customizable fields encompass the components that are typically included in a compensation package. The results instantly reveal a market-based scenario that breaks out base salary, benefits, hiring incentives and bonuses. The calculator is unique in its design for use with an offer in hand, or if the physician wants to compare how far their compensation would stretch in a different state or type of community.

Physicians considering a new practice opportunity can:

  • Easily access customized physician compensation data, drawn from multiple sources
  • Drill down by specialty, state and type of location
  • Get instant results and/or request an optional written report via email.

They can adjust for benefits, hiring incentives, and bonuses:

  • Benefits
  • Sign-on Bonus
  • Residency stipend
  • Relocation assistance
  • Student loan repayment
  • Future bonuses for productivity and quality

Jackson Physician Search compiles data from salary surveys published by industry leaders including Health eCareers and Doximity, which draws from self-reported compensation surveys of more than 36,000 physicians. They also incorporate proprietary data, including the firm’s physician placement and search data. Actual compensation will vary depending on additional variables such as skills and qualifications in each specialty, and supply and demand in a particular location. The information does not constitute specific advice for any candidate nor does it guarantee compensation from any organization.

 

In addition to the salary calculator, the new and improved Physician Salary Calculator and Resource Center also features relevant physician compensation articles, videos, and other resources physicians can use.

 

Jackson Physician Search specializes in permanent recruitment of physicians and advanced practice providers to hospitals and health systems across the United States. The company is recognized for its track record of results built on their clients’ trust in the skills of their team and the transparency of their process. Jackson Physician Search attracts and retains the most talented and motivated recruitment professionals in the industry. The firm has been recognized by Modern Healthcare and Fortune as one of the Best Places to Work.

 

Visit www.JacksonPhysicianSearch.com and Jackson Physician Search on LinkedIn. Follow @JacksonPhysicianSearch on Facebook and @Jackson_Search on Twitter.

 

Media Contact for More Information:

Lori Schutte: 770.643.5533 lschutte@jacksonphysiciansearch.com

Mary Barber: 314.494.6952 mbarber@jacksonphysiciansearch.com

Personalized Compensation Reports with New Physician Salary Calculator

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According to a recent MMS Survey, 69% of physicians say the most important factors when making a decision about a new job opportunity are location and, not surprisingly, compensation. After you have prioritized your need for a satisfying medical practice, working with colleagues you respect and living in a community you and your family love, the remaining question is: Will I be fairly compensated?

Seeking an answer can be overwhelming. Just google “physician salary” and you get 42.7 million results.

Whether you are a new physician emerging from training, or you are considering a change after years in practice, you likely want to know what the compensation for your specialty looks like for your area and across various locations nationwide.

It’s a good idea to consult a number of credible sources to understand how multiple variables influence your potential compensation package. Data sources vary from comprehensive reports published (and offered for sale) by healthcare industry associations to free salary calculators that cover a wide cross-section of jobs and professions, including the practice of medicine. Industry insiders, experts and advisors, including experienced physician recruiters, are also valuable resources.

To further contribute to the resources available to physicians, and to provide physicians with a more useful and accessible tool for physician salary data and trends, we have created an enhanced Physician Salary Calculator and Resource Center featuring an interactive calculator that enables you to:

  • Easily access customized physician compensation data
  • Drill down by specialty, state and type of location
  • Display instant results with option to have your custom report emailed to yourself

Customizable calculator fields reflect the components that are typically included in a compensation package, including:

  • Benefits
  • Sign-on Bonus
  • Residency stipend
  • Relocation assistance
  • Student loan repayment
  • Future bonuses for productivity and quality

Your results will instantly show a competitive market-based scenario that breaks out base salary, benefits, hiring incentives and bonuses.

The calculator is unique in its design for use with an offer in hand, or if you are considering relocation and want to see how far your current compensation would stretch in a different state or type of community.

Data has been compiled from salary surveys published by industry leaders including HealtheCareers and Doximity, which draws from self-reported compensation surveys of more than 36,000 physicians.

We also have incorporated proprietary data from our own physician placement and search data. Of course, actual compensation will vary depending on additional variables such as skills and qualifications in your specialty, and supply and demand in your chosen location. The information does not constitute specific advice for any candidate nor does it guarantee compensation from any organization.

We invite you to explore the enhanced Physician Salary Calculator and Resource Center yourself.

For even more personalized consultation, we recommend speaking with one of our knowledgable recruiters.

Understanding Physician Compensation Models and Methods

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Today’s physician compensation models are like the healthcare industry: highly dynamic and complicated. Many doctors find it challenging to assess how the compensation package of their first job will align with their personal and professional priorities.

Let’s review some of the approaches involved in compensation packages.

Value-based Measures.

As the healthcare industry shifts toward value-based outcomes, physician compensation is gravitating toward similar value-based measures. Compensation is no longer driven exclusively by patient volume and the number of procedures performed. It is a product of many factors including cost of care, patient experience, quality of care, coordination of care, and productivity.  Typically, productivity remains the largest single element impacting physician compensation. But, it is important to recognize value-based factors, which now comprise up to 20% of total compensation.

RVUs.

Introduced in the early 1990’s, Relative Value Units (RVUs) have become more significant in determining everything from physician compensation to medical practice buyouts and consolidations. In general terms, the physician’s component of the RVU accounts for: time; technical skill and effort; mental effort and judgment; and stress to provide a service. You can read more about RVUs here.

Practices are using work RVUs and a practice-specific conversion factor to determine compensation. Another typical approach is predicated on using a base salary plus a bonus calculation based on the number of RVUs generated.

Stacking.

As if compensation packages weren’t complicated enough, organizations are utilizing an approach referred to as stacking. This is an arrangement where physicians are performing multiple roles and being compensated individually for each. For example, a hospitalist has a full-time schedule where they are in the facility every other week. During the off-weeks, the hospitalist works shifts in the critical care unit, and also puts in 10 hours a week as the medical director of the hospitalist program.  By the time all of those responsibilities are accounted for, the hospitalist’s total compensation package is greater but more complex.

More Compensation Components.

Compensation begins with but doesn’t end with a base salary.  Most employers combine an agreed upon salary with variable components that affect total compensation. You need to determine – and be comfortable with – how much of your pay will be based on your individual performance, organizational performance and other factors like patient satisfaction. It is fair to ask how those variables have affected compensation in recent years – and why.

Potential employers routinely offer first-year incentives, such as signing bonuses, student loan repayments, and reimbursement for relocation, licensing and board certification. Looking further ahead, there may be opportunities to earn more by taking on supervision of advanced practitioners, precepting medical students, or serving as a medical director. Depending on your tolerance for risk, negotiating ownership shares is another way to potentially benefit financially from the future growth and performance of a practice.

How Location Affects Physician Compensation.

Geographic region and market size significantly influence compensation and how far your income will stretch. So, it is important to adjust for the cost of living in dollars and assess the location with your lifestyle expectations in mind.

Work schedules, after-hours activities, vacation coverage, and weekend shifts influence work/life balance. It’s important to know what a future employer expects, and how they assist physicians in managing stress, avoiding burnout and cultivating career satisfaction.

With all of the complicating factors contributing to compensation, physicians have to do their homework to determine which opportunity offers a fair package, a satisfying work environment, strong cultural fit with the organization and a happy life outside of work.

Today’s physician compensation models are like the healthcare industry: highly dynamic and increasingly complicated.  Many doctors find it challenging to assess how the compensation package of their first job will align with their personal and professional priorities.  As a resource for physicians, Jackson Physician Search has introduced a newly updated physician compensation resource center includes an interactive calculator that enables you to:

  • Easily access customized physician compensation data
  • Drill down by specialty, state, and type of location
  • Get instant results and have your report emailed to you

If you have any further questions about how physician compensation works, please connect with our recruiters for information and guidance.