Make sure your compensation plan is aligned with your group’s goals

By Shannon Geis, MA
June 13, 2017
Body of Knowledge Domain(s): Financial Management

Are your physicians happy with their compensation plan? A recent MGMA Stat poll found that only 48% of respondents said that their physicians felt satisfied with their plan. But if you are considering a change to your compensation plan, make sure there is a specific problem that you are trying to fix, says Frank H. Ford, FACMPE, MBA, MHS, independent consultant, MGMA Health Care Consulting Group.

“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,” Ford says. “Because when you start screwing with people’s pay, they get upset.”

An indicator that you should reevaluate your compensation plan is if your physicians are doing things that are inconsistent with the way that your group wants to operate, Ford says. It is important to make sure your compensation plan rewards the kind of behaviors you want to see at your practice. 

“Most of us tend to actually perform related to the way things are designed in our compensation plan,” Ford explains in a recent episode of MGMA Small Talk. “So if you have a compensation plan that pays doctors a flat salary, but you are trying to get them to produce more, you may have a hard time getting that increased production when they’re not going to get paid anything else for it.”

Practice administrators need to make sure that compensation plans are in line with your culture, he says. “You may say this is what your culture is, but if your compensation is something else, the behavior is probably aligned with the compensation plan, and therefore your culture isn’t what you think it is.” 

Listen to the full episode to learn more about how you can better align your compensation plan with new reimbursement models.

If you are planning to revamp your physician compensation plan, check out the recently released 2017 MGMA DataDive Provider Compensation to help you benchmark your plan.

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Shannon Geis, MA, Staff writer/editor, MGMA

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