Physician Compensation: New Complexities and Trends

Published by ImagingBiz

The current trend toward hospital–physician integration has renewed the focus of leaders on both sides on developing fair, sustainable physician-compensation plans. On March 21, 2011, in Chicago, Illinois, at the Congress on Healthcare Leadership of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), three speakers, Timothy J. Cotter, Ralph DeJong and Thomas Nantais, presented “Best Practices for Physician-compensation Governance and Strategy.” They addressed emerging trends in physician compensation (as well as best practices gleaned from prior experience in structuring these arrangements). Timothy J. Cotter, managing director of Sullivan, Cotter and Associates, Inc (Chicago), began the presentation by noting that approximately 40% of primary-care physicians and 25% of specialists in the United States are currently hospital employed, and the means by which these employed physicians are compensated are evolving as a result of health-care reform. What’s more, he says, it is increasingly vital that these arrangements be appropriate, as they are subject to more federal oversight than ever before. “There are very hefty penalties against health systems for physician-compensation noncompliance,” he notes. “Health-care organizations want to make sure they have a strong, defensible position regarding physician compensation.”

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