Higher hospitalist base salary shows less compensation

Hospitals should consider the balance between compensation and productivity, according to a Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) press release this week. According to an MGMA and Society of Hospital Medicine's (SHM) report, the median compensation for adult hospitalists rose from $215,000 to $220,619 in 2010. Similarly, pediatric hospitalists saw an increase from $160,038 in 2009 to $171,617 in 2010.

However, hospitals choose varying compensation structures to dispense that pay. Hospitalists who had higher base salaries generally earned less overall. Adult hospitalists whose base salary made up 100 percent of their compensation earned a median of $205,003. Those whose base salary made up 91 to 99 percent of compensation earned a median of $221,270, and those with 71 to 90 percent base salary earned $213,542. Comparatively, hospitalists whose base salary comprised 51 to 70 percent of their compensation reported a median of $249,250, while those with base salaries of less than 50 percent earned $288,154.

"The compensation methodology is still evolving, which provides increased potential for hospitalists to negotiate from a straight base salary to base salary-plus-incentive program based on production and quality metrics," Jeffrey B. Milburn of MGMA Health Care Consulting Group said in a press release. "Since this data indicates hospitalists with a higher percentage of base salary earn less median compensation, it's important for both the physician and the hospital system to understand and balance the relationship between compensation and productivity," he added.

For more information:
- read the press release
- see the compensation structure chart (.pdf)

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