Okay, okay. The chances are great that your first reaction after reading the title was to think, “It’s so I’ll get paid.”
Now that we’re past that, let’s look a bit deeper.
From the medical group perspective, a compensation plan is a part, in fact the largest part, of the practice’s system for driving behavior within the medical group.
Traditionally, the targeted behavior has been production, whether that’s measured by units, by minutes, by patient encounters, or by whatever.
As I’ve written before in posts such as Here’s A Tip About Physician Compensation and Structure and Compensation: The Genetic Defect In Medical Groups, compensation plans are an integral part of incentivizing other, non-production based behavior. For example, incentivizing and rewarding the willingness to participate in group leadership.
Today, non-production based factors are assuming an even larger role in how medical groups themselves are paid. Think “patient satisfaction,” and the looming granddaddy of them all, so-called “value based” payment systems.
If all your medical group’s plan rewards for, and therefore, incentivizes, is production, you’re losing an opportunity to use pay as a part of incentivizing behavior that helps your medical group meet the conditions required under these new payment models. Or even worse, you’re actually creating disincentives for engaging in necessary behavior.
The solution is not to pull completely away from production-based pay, but to create a blended model in which traditional production (again, the notion of units, minutes, etc.) is not the sole measure of compensation.
Examples vary from notions of partially fixed salaries, partially contingent compensation, and bonus payments not tied to traditional production measures. In truth, the available systems are as varied as your group is from others. Which, by the way, should be great.
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Mark F. Weiss