Critical Judgement a Must When Designing Physician Compensation Programs
Physician compensation is complex. When determining compensation for an individual physician or even a group of physicians, many factors can impact what rate should be paid. Robust benchmarks and analytics are essential tools to develop and administer an equitable and market-competitive compensation structure; however, a compensation program is only as good as its design.
Factors such as payer mix, subspecialty credentials, program leadership positions or an individual’s national reputation may be relevant to consider as you create your physician compensation program. As new physicians are recruited, it is important to know how compensation of the recruited physician compares to others in the group. You need to ensure that her income is sustainable after getting off a guarantee, as well as make sure others in the group don’t become dissatisfied if pay rates vary significantly as a result of non-productivity-based factors. Lastly, choosing the market range where you want to target the majority of your agreements needs careful thought and judgement. Just because payments under the 75th percentile benchmarks, from a compliance perspective, are generally deemed “okay” doesn’t mean that your organization should pay at that level. Ultimately, thinking critically and using judgement is key when designing compensation plans and when applying benchmarks.