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Physician Compensation Models Are Upside Down

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, July 11, 2013

"We wanted (physicians) to pick that up, with service, quality, and efficiency, and 100% of the physicians chose that," Samitt says. "In a single year we made a significant move from volume to value-based incentives."

 As Samitt sees it, Dean is getting past the schizophrenia.

Not everybody is. While Dean found a way, especially through tough negotiations, to move toward value-based care and compensations, that certainly doesn't seem to be the case everywhere around the nation, according to Steve Marsh, owner and managing partner of The Medicus Firm, a national physician recruiting company based in Dallas, TX and Atlanta, GA.

He told me that most physician compensation models he's worked on involve volume of care, which certainly undercuts, or at least slows, the country's move toward value-based care.

"At the end of the day, physicians are going to do more volume to maintain their income levels. No way around it," Marsh says. "At least on my radar screen, I don't see a system completely based on value, I don't think that will happen." Physicians, especially, will be involved in programs that will demand both quality and volume, especially in receiving bonus awards under contracts he's seen, Marsh says.

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