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What is a compensation survey

what is a compensation survey


In September 2013, John Nelson, a leading hospitalist consultant, provided the most current insight into hospitalist salary compensation in a discussion at The Hospitalist journal. This yearly data collection is a collaborative effort between SHM and MGMA. The 2013 MGMA Physician Compensation and Production Survey report, based on 2012 data, showed a median compensation of $240,352 for internal medicine hospitalists, a 2.7% increase from $233,855 reported for 2012 (based on 2011 data). If you are a physician practice leader, you can expect a 20% premium compensation package over non practice leader physician members. As of September 8th, 2013, I was not able to find the report available for purchase yet on the SHM website. Without having personally purchased and reviewed the survey results, I assume this dollar value represents total compensation. The MGMA has previously defined total compensation as salary, bonus, incentive payments, research stipends and honoraria and distribution of profits. They state total compensation does not include expense reimbursements, fringe benefits paid for by the practice (retirement plan, health insurance, life insurance, automobile allowances) or employer contributions to 401(k), 403(b) or Keogh plans. In addition, most recent survey results have excluded academic hospitalist salaries as well. I can only assume this to be the case for the 2013 report.

What percentage of hospital compensation and what percentage is composed of salary? The 2012 State of Hospital Medicine report provides insight into that practice management issue here . There are variations based on the type of practice model (hospital employed vs management companies vs private practice). Make sure to review the article for more detailed information. It also give insight into current performance measures being used for compensation.

The 2013 Today's Hospitalist Compensation & Career Guide, published late 2013, gave us more insight into the state of the hospitalist salary. According is an excerpt from one article published in that guide:

"According to data from this year’s Today’s Hospitalist Career & Compensation Survey, Dr. Kanikkannan’s earnings place her near the mean for full-time adult hospitalists: $251,360. That figure represents a 7% jump over last year’s reported mean of $234,900, showing that pay for adult hospitalists continues to grow at a very healthy clip."

Additional data published in their survey indicates 19.6% of hospitalists reported earning more than $300,000 a year, compared with 13.4% in 2012 survey data. Southwest hospitalists reported the highest total compensation and %change in compensation, rising 8.8% in 2013 to $270,830 from $248,800 in 2012, beating out the Pacific, Mountain, Midwest, South and Northeast areas as the highest paid hospitalist region overall.

If you have not yet subscribed to Today's Hospitalist . you can do so here to view the rest of the detailed salary data. This detailed survey once again provides valuable insight into other practice characteristics, including staffing and scheduling, work environment, productivity and career satisfaction. In addition, Today's Hospitalist is selling a complete Excel spread sheet of their data that can be purchased at this link . Here is a description of their salary survey product.

"The 2013 Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Report contain all of these data—and more—from a survey of nearly 800 practicing hospitalists. This unique report, which is

offered as an Excel spreadsheet, offers data on hospitalist pay, group size, type of employer, size of hospital, respondents age and experience, and more." I think the take home message is clear. Total compensation continues to rise, despite increasing hospitalist market saturation and declining hospital reimbursement. That says to me that hospitals continue to value hospitalists for their front end and back end value and they are willing to pay for that value.

Here is a comment left by a reader in early 2014:

"Hello, I have seen surveys showing the average salary of a hospitalist as $200-250k. I work with a hospitalist that is a family physician. He and some of his colleagues work for a company called IPC Hospitalist Group. He said he works out schedule with coworkers and get bonuses for productivity. States that he makes between $350-400K annually."


On July 18th, 2012, The Hospitalist published details on the most up-to-date hospitalist salary compensation data currently available. This comprehensive SHM/MGMA report is now available for purchase from the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM). In addition to the SHM/MGMA report, you can find free 2012 salary survey data at Today's Hospitalist website. You may need to sign up to get their publication. If you haven't already, I encourage you to do so. They provide an excellent free publication all hospitalists can appreciate and enjoy.

I have updated this blog post on a yearly basis in 2010, 2011 and 2012 to help hospitalists understand how their income and benefit package compares with national survey data. I started my hospitalist journey in 2003 at a large community hospitalist. Ten years later I continue to provided hospitalist services as a partner in my private practice hospitalist group.

Over the years I have watched hospitalist salary trends rise with strength and conviction. This is not a mistake. Our value is being rewarded by our unique position outside third party insurance models of care. The most recent report from the publication The Hospitalist is based on 2011 SHM/MGMA data. The median financial support for hospitalists by hospitals increased to $140,204 per full time hospitalist, per year, an increase of 6.6% from the $131,564 reported in the previous survey. Confirming this continued rise in hospitalist value, hospitalist salaries rose 6% year over year. Excluding academic hospitalists, the median hospitalist compensation in this survey was $233,855 per year. The median number of annual encounters declined by 6.4% while the collections per encounter increased by 13%. This resulted in a stagnant 0.17% decline in work RVU production year over year to 4,159 wRVU per hospitalist per year. This will certainly cause adjustments in RVU compensation benchmarks for hospitalists.

Today's Hospitalist 2012 survey data also provides great insight into income and productivity. Based on the the 711 full time respondents who agreed to answer total compensation questions, hospitalists earned $235,000 per year, on average, including all salary, incentives, bonuses and other forms of regular compensation but excluding benefits. In addition, one-quarter of hospitalists responding to the survey earned under $200,000 and one-third earned $250,000 or more, including 13% who said they earned $300,000 or more as a hospitalist. See the image below for details.

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