MGMA/SHM Survey Report shows that compensation model affects hospitalist productivity and salary 

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. and PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 10, 2010 – New data suggests that base salary impacts productivity and overall compensation for hospitalists. The lower the proportion of total compensation paid as base salary, the higher both productivity and overall compensation tend to be, according to the State of Hospital Medicine: 2010 Report Based on 2009 Data produced by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM).

Adult hospitalists who received 50 percent or less of their compensation as fixed base salary reported the highest median work relative value units (wRVUs) at 5,407 compared to colleagues.  Work RVUs is a term that refers to the ‘work' component of the relative value unit system published by Medicare. Those who received 51 percent to 70 percent of their compensation as base salary performed 4,591 wRVUs, compared to 3,859 wRVUs for hospitalists who received 71 percent to 90 percent of their compensation as base salary.  Individuals who received 91 percent to 100 percent of their compensation as base salary reported 3,571 wRVUs.

"Hospitalists are one of the fastest growing medical specialties and many of these physicians are being directly employed by hospitals," said Jeffrey B. Milburn, MBA, CMPE, MGMA Health Care Consulting Group. "The compensation methodology has evolved from a straight base salary to base salary plus incentive, based on production and quality metrics."

The reported median wRVUs were higher for physicians in practices that were not hospital-owned than for physicians in hospital-owned practices, and physicians working in practices that provide on-call coverage at night generated more wRVUs than physicians working in practices that provide on-site care at night.

Internal medicine hospitalists reported median compensation of $215,000.  Family practice hospitalists received $218,066 and pediatric hospitalists reported compensation of $160,038.  The report also indicates compensation varies based on geographic location, practice teaching status and practice size.

"This new data will prove tremendously helpful to hospitalists and healthcare executives alike," said William "Tex" Landis, MD, FHM, chair of SHM's practice analysis committee. "While it is important to keep in mind that wRVUs cannot measure every work effort, this survey data will definitely support better decisions about how hospitalist practices are resourced, and it will ultimately promote delivering the best possible care to hospitalized patients across the country."

State of Hospital Medicine: 2010 Report Based on 2009 Data contains information on 443 hospital medicine groups and 4,211 hospitalists.  It is the first joint effort between MGMA and SHM in collecting data on hospital medicine groups, and replaces SHM's independent biannual survey, which was last published for 2007-2008.  The 2010 report also includes group-level data on compensation methodology, group size and staffing mix, turnover and growth, staffing models and night coverage models.

Note: The MGMA-SHM survey depends 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.

Editorial copies of the report are available to members of the media who qualify. Please contact media relations representatives Liz Boten at or Brendon Shank at to request an editorial copy. Click here to purchase a copy of the report.

About MGMA

MGMA is the premier membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices. Since 1926, MGMA has delivered networking, professional education and resources, and political advocacy for medical practice management. Today, MGMA's 21,500 members lead 13,700 organizations nationwide in which some 275,000 physicians provide more than 40 percent of the healthcare services delivered in the United States.

MGMA's mission is to continually improve the performance of medical group practice professionals and the organizations they represent. MGMA promotes the group practice model as the optimal framework for healthcare delivery, assisting group practices in providing efficient, safe, patient-focused and affordable care. MGMA is headquartered in Englewood, Colo., and maintains a government affairs office in Washington, D.C.

About SHM

Representing the fastest growing specialty in modern healthcare, the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) is the leading medical society for more than 31,000 hospitalists and their patients. SHM is dedicated to promoting the highest quality care for all hospitalized patients and overall excellence in the practice of hospital medicine through quality improvement, education, advocacy and research. Over the past decade, studies have shown that hospitalists decrease patient lengths of stay, reduce hospital costs and readmission rates, and increase patient satisfaction.  For more information about hospital medicine, visit

Follow us on social media

 MGMA on Facebook   MGMA LinkedIn Group   MGMA on Twitter