SullivanCotter Releases Data from the 2015 Physician Compensation and Productivity Survey

September 9, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sullivan, Cotter and Associates, Inc. (SullivanCotter), a human resources and total compensation consulting firm specializing in the health care industry, announced the results of its annual Physician Compensation and Productivity Survey.

This year’s findings indicate a continued increase in the prevalence of quality-based incentives, which typically include metrics regarding clinical processes, patient experience and access. Nearly half (45%) of the organizations surveyed reported the use of quality measures in their physician compensation models. This represents a 13% increase in prevalence over the past two years. On average, staff physicians received $18,500 in quality incentives, which comprises 6% of their total cash compensation.The survey report addresses key physician compensation practices and trends from 560 organizations on nearly 115,000 individual physicians and advanced practice clinicians. This makes it the largest physician compensation dataset in the market.

“As reimbursement changes, organizational goals and priorities continue to shift. More physician pay related to quality metrics is at risk. We’re currently seeing a steady increase in pay-for-performance compensation models as the focus on value-based incentives continues,” says Kim Mobley, Managing Principal at SullivanCotter.

Additionally, the trend towards health system and large medical group employment of physicians continues. Nearly three-quarters of survey participants reported an increase in their employed physician workforce in the previous 12 months, and 68% plan on increasing their physician workforce in the upcoming year. The average actual and projected percentage increase to their physician staffing is 14% and 11%, respectively.

“In the wake of declining reimbursements and a constantly changing health care industry, physicians are seeking greater job security and stability. We continue to see an increase in the number of physicians employed directly by hospitals and health systems,” says Tim Strok, Team Leader, Physician Compensation Surveys at SullivanCotter.

Although the overall median increase in total cash compensation (TCC) for all specialties is modest at 1.8%, primary care specialties are seeing increases that outpace their specialist colleagues. When comparing staff physicians reported in both the 2014 and 2015 surveys, primary care physicians experienced a median TCC increase of 3.4%, while medical and surgical specialists had median TCC increases of 2.5% and 2.3%.

For more information on SullivanCotter’s surveys, please visit our website at or contact us by phone at 888.739.7039.


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