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1 in 3 Medical Directors in Line for Bonus Pay

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, October 11, 2012

About a decade ago, only 5% to 10% of employed physicians were paid bonuses. "You've seen an expansion of bonuses in contracts, with the concept of incentives filtering down to these physicians, and the number of overall organizations that use incentives are increasing," Stutelberg explained.  

While most executives in the C-suite may get bonuses of 10% to 30% of their salaries, medical directors may reach 10%, whether they are employed or independent, he continued.

Hospitals have been "selective" on the bonuses, the survey states, focusing more on larger programs and "those positions associated with a larger management system."

Hospitals with less than $100 million in net revenue averaged at least 10 medical director positions, while hospitals with more than $500 million averaged 30 positions, according to the report. The scope and hours of a medical director vary, but the majority of positions are part-time and from the medical staff.

The survey results showed that median hourly rates increased by 2% from 2011 to 2012 for medical directors who worked as independent contractors. But some specialties far exceeded that percentage, according to the survey.

Cardiology and nuclear/echo increased the most, at nearly 35%.  Orthopedic spine surgery showed the greatest decline in median hourly rate at 28.8%. The survey data shows that on average, independent contractors received an hourly rate that is 2.8% higher than employed physicians at the market median.

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