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One size does not fit all with physician compensation

By Shannon Geis, MA
August 1, 2017
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If your physicians aren’t satisfied with their compensation plan – and only 48% respondents said their physicians were in a recent MGMA Stat poll – you may be rushing to make changes.

“It can be a knee-jerk reaction: We gotta change the comp models,” says Craig Pederson, MHA, MBA, MGMA member, principal, Insight Health Partners, LLC, Lake Zurich, Ill. “But you might not need to change your physician compensation.” He recommends looking for other changes you can make first.

Frank H. Ford, FACMPE, MBA, MHS, MGMA member, independent consultant, MGMA Health Care Consulting Group, agrees. “If your compensation plan appears to be working okay, if you are looking for something to go get involved in, don’t pick this one. Because when you start screwing with people’s pay, they get upset,” says Ford in a recent episode of MGMA Small Talk.

If you do decide to reevaluate your compensation models, don’t try to speed through the process and expect to get by with just one plan for everyone. “I always get worried when I hear people say, ‘Design one model for everybody,’” says Pederson. “Consider one model per specialty but not one for everyone.”

Pederson is leading a session at the MGMA 2017 Annual Conference, “Physician Compensation: Ten Common Mistakes (and Four Solutions),” which he promises will be an entertaining and informative review of worst-case scenarios, including situations with bad contracts and where low-productivity physicians get paid a high price. “I’ve been in this business a long time so I wanted to describe the mistakes I see and how to avoid them,” explains Pederson.

If you do attend the session, he recommends taking the advice to heart. “You don’t want to be the practice featured in next year’s presentation,” says Pederson.  

To learn more about the common mistakes administrators make with physician compensation, check out Pederson’s session at the MGMA 2017 Annual Conference, Oct. 8-11 in Anaheim, Calif. To learn more about what’s happening in provider compensation, check out our recent webinar, “Current Trends in Provider Compensation and Productivity,” now available on demand.

Shannon Geis, MA, Staff writer/editor, MGMA

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