MGMA survey: Physicians offered signing bonuses, paid relocation expenses to join new practices

Implementation of health insurance exchanges and looming physician shortages drives enhanced benefit offerings


Englewood, Colo., May 6, 2014— The environment to recruit and retain physicians continues to be highly competitive and has increased first-year median guaranteed compensation for providers. Primary care physicians reported $186,475 in median first-year guaranteed compensation when placed in a new practice, and specialists reported $260,000 when placed in a new practice, according to the MGMA Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data.

In addition to offering competitive compensation packages, practices may also have enhanced their benefit offerings to recruit physicians. Sixty percent of physicians placed in a new practice reported receiving signing bonuses, and 72 percent accepted paid relocation packages as part of their employment offers. In Sept. 2013, respondents to MGMA research predicted a slight increase in their practice’s patient population due to ACA insurance exchanges and coupled with the impending physician shortages, organizations may be offering these benefits to attract physicians to their communities.

“Medical practices are offering a number of benefits to recruit physicians,” said Laura Palmer, FACMPE, MGMA senior industry analyst. “With the initial uncertainty surrounding how ACA insurance exchanges would impact healthcare organizations, medical practices were very savvy in planning ahead and anticipating how potential changes to their population may affect their ability to accommodate patients.”

The MGMA Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data contains data on 5,318 providers in 567 medical organizations. New to the report this year is the amount given to providers for Continuing Medical Education. The report also details the movement of physicians across regions. The information is available in DataDive, an easy-to-use, Web-based format that allows users to access and drill down data for analysis. Visit the MGMA website to access additional findings from the report.

Note: MGMA surveys depend on voluntary participation and may not be representative of the industry. Readers are urged to review the entire survey report when making conclusions regarding trends or other observations.

Additional resources for medical practice executives on physician and nonphysician retention strategies:
MGMA In Practice Blog: Credentialing a newly minted physician
MGMA Book: Strategies for Value Based Physician Compensation
MGMA Health Care Consulting Group: Human Resources and Recruitment
MGMA analysis: NPP Utilization in the Future of U.S. Healthcare

About MGMA

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) helps create successful medical practices that deliver the highest-quality patient care. As the leading association for medical practice administrators and executives since 1926, MGMA helps improve members’ practices through exclusive member benefits, education, resources, news, information, advocacy, and networking opportunities, and produces some of the most credible and robust medical practice economic data and data solutions in the industry, MGMA advances the profession of medical practice management with its industry-leading board certification and Fellowship programs through the American College of Medical Practice Executives.

Through its national membership and 50 state affiliates, MGMA represents more than 33,000 medical practice administrators and executives in practices of all sizes, types, structures and specialties. MGMA is headquartered in Englewood, Colo., with a Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C.

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