Editors note: This article features interactive region-by-region breakdowns and Team Hospitalist analysis of the latest compensation and productivity data from SHM and MGMA. Click here to open the interactive feature.
Every January, William “Tex” Landis, MD, FHM, sits in a conference room with key members of his hospital’s administration and presents what he affectionately refers to as the “state of the union” for his hospitalist group. The bar graphs, pie charts, and commentary have changed little in the past decade, Dr. Landis admits, but the information and analysis he has available to him as he begins crafting his 2011 presentation is better than ever.
Dr. Landis, medical director of Wellspan Hospitalists in York, Pa., and hospitalist group leaders across the country will have access to the State of Hospital Medicine: 2010 Report Based on 2009 Data this budget cycle. The new report, which will be available Sept. 10, offers new compensation and productivity information, new layers of detail, and new tools to help group leaders analyze the data.
“This data reflects the best numbers we have in our business,” says Dr. Landis, the chair of SHM’s Practice Analysis Committee. “We have better participation and better quality data analysis than we have ever had before. It’s a more standardized approach, and we are just going to be able to continue to build upon this. It sets the standard for moving forward, as far as I am concerned.”
The new report, which replaces SHM’s biannual survey, is the result of a partnership between SHM and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), an industry leader in practice-management resources. The report compiled data about 4,211 hospitalists in 443 groups, a 30% increase in survey respondents over SHM’s 2007-2008 report.
“The collaboration is really driven at providing a single set of benchmarks to the HM community,” says David Litzau, systems analyst at MGMA. “It provides a viewpoint of what’s happening elsewhere in the industry.”
What’s happening is that hospitalists continue to see increases in compensation. The new report, which uses some different data definitions and survey methodologies, and is based on a new population, shows that median compensation for adult hospitalists is $215,000 per year, a number that doesn’t take into account benefits. Hospitalist median compensation was $183,900, according to SHM’s 2007-2008 survey, and $171,000 in SHM’s 2005-2006 survey. MGMA’s 2009 report on physician compensation showed median compensation at $210,250 per internal medicine hospitalist.
And while the compensation numbers are higher than in previous surveys, the new report also shows adult hospitalists are increasing productivity, are seeing more patients per year (reversing a somewhat declining trend), and are collecting more per encounter.
Although compensation is the most popular survey metric, it’s not the only number worth investigating. A handful of key productivity measures seem to be on the rise, too, according to the new report.
The national median (the midpoint of all survey respondents) for work RVUs per adult hospitalist FTE is 4,107, according to the new data. SHM’s 2007-2008 survey reported wRVUs at 3,715 per adult hospitalist.
The national median for hospitalist wRVUs per encounter is 1.86. That same figure was reported at 1.53 wRVUs per encounter in 2008 and 1.37 in 2006.
Collections per wRVU is $45.57, according to the 2010 report. The 2008 survey showed collections at $44.97 per wRVU; the 2006 survey did not report the metric.