Recruitment and Competitive Physician Compensation in a Post Covid World

As 2021 gets underway, and you begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, your efforts should begin to focus on recruitment and competitive compensation packages.    During the pandemic, physicians faced extreme pressures, with many physicians perhaps choosing to stay put and not move. Though the pandemic is still raging, the advent of the vaccines for COVID-19 will bring some “normalcy” and physicians will once again begin to think about their future and career options.  A tight physician market and trying to find the right fit for your organization, is a call for action.

Recruitment of providers is time consuming, and a sizeable investment for most organizations.  Based on data from recruitment firms and personal experience it may take 8 to 12 months to recruit a physician.    The loss of revenue while you are recruiting can also be sizeable. Healthcare administrators need a tailored recruitment process and a competitive salary and benefits package if they hope to attract talent. Total cash compensation and physician shortages have increased for most specialties making tight labor markets.  Physicians will have many choices!

It has been my experience that physicians not only look for a practice location that will promote their careers, but they also want to be paid equitably.  More and more, physicians are interested in compensation transparency, they want to know how their compensation will be determined and how future increases will take place. They want to be assured that they are being paid the same as other physicians with similar training, experience, and effort.  Real or perceived gender or generational biases also create a need for transparency.

It is imperative to understand all aspects of compensation and develop compensation plans that are competitive and take into consideration such elements as total cash compensation (TCC), performance/quality incentives, minimum work standards, fair market value (FMV), gender equity, mechanism for increases, sign-on bonuses, student loan forgiveness, tuition assistance and other perks such as leave for community work or special research projects.

As patient volumes return, physician compensation structures will need to be fast-tracked to assure revisions and updates have kept pace with new models for care and the return to normalcy.  Changes to compensation plans can take 12 to 24 months depending on the organization’s resources and employment agreement language.  Now is an ideal time to get back on track and review your compensation plan, the transparency of your processes and what updates are needed based on your expense and volume expectations for 2021.

Do you need assistance reviewing your compensation framework, dealing with compensation perceptions, or aligning the compensation approach with your strategic goals and objectives?  Envision Better Health, LLC can assist you in developing an equitable, transparent, and sustainable compensation strategy.







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