Performance Suite

Physician Compensation: Moving the Needle on Value-Based Pay

By Shelly Slowiak, Customer Success Leader – Clinician Nexus

Originally published by the American Association of Provider Compensation Professionals

Incorporating value-based components into your physician compensation model requires careful planning and consideration. This may also include a lengthy transition phase in which physician buy-in, adoption, and engagement are critical. A change like this represents a significant shift that, when combined with other high-priority workforce, financial and reimbursement pressures, takes a unique approach to be successful. 

However, several worthwhile activities can be undertaken by health care organizations in the meantime to enhance value, increase engagement, and lay the foundation for a future transition.

Patient Panel Management:

Knowing each physician’s patient population and their risk factors is an important first step. This helps to shape the overall care model and determine the most appropriate operational approach. It may also impact physician incentive opportunities. Incorporating patient panel management as a metric into the compensation plan can engage physicians holistically in shifting from volume to value-based care. Start with a comprehensive review of your population health data. Many organizations are utilizing technology to automatically attribute patients to physician panels based on specific organizational guidelines – allowing for a more transparent view of risk-adjusted panels by physician, location, and more. This information can then inform staffing models and better align services with patient care needs.

Analyze the Effectiveness of Process Improvement Metrics

Many physician compensation plans incorporate a percentage of value-based/quality metrics as ‘at-risk’ compensation. Greater visibility into individual, team, and department-level performance can help drive continuous improvement in areas like patient safety and outcomes measures at the system-wide level. Consider technology that provides a higher level of transparency and allows your clinicians to track their progress and performance against goals. These insights are valuable to aligning patient safety and outcomes to at-risk compensation.

Incentivize Work that Adds Value

The ongoing clinical workforce shortage is driving a greater focus on expanding the pipeline of future clinicians – creating the need to carve out physician time for teaching. In addition, other research, administrative, and leadership activities need to be accounted for. Being thoughtful of the time and effort many current physicians spend on these activities is essential. Compensation for these efforts can help foster a culture of physician engagement. Using technology to track time spent on these activities and administer compensation accordingly allows for a more holistic picture of clinical and non-clinical work efforts. It’s an important tool for studying the benefits of value-added work, such as teaching, and understanding the impact this may have on individual wRVU productivity.

Recommended For You