The increasing trend toward hospital-based employment for physicians is fueling job growth and compensation growth for hospitalists. According to Today’s Hospitalist magazine, which conducts an annual Compensation & Career Survey, mean compensation for all hospitalists rose from $190,923 in 2008 to $204,227 in 2009. A separate 2010 report from SHM and MGMA puts the mean annual salary for a hospitalists at $225,344.
A variety of factors influence total compensation for hospitalists, including experience, training, geography, schedule and employer type/practice setting.
Currently, while there is high demand for hospitalists throughout the U.S., the need is greater in rural settings compared to large metro areas, which often have more than enough physicians to choose from. As a result, total mean compensation in rural areas is much higher than the national average in urban and suburban areas.
Incentives are also an important driver of total compensation. Hospitalists are often paid a bonus above their base salary if they achieve certain performance metrics that typically center on productivity and clinical measurements.
Because of a supply and demand disparity, sign-on bonuses are also part of some hospitalists’ financial packages. Many hospitals use such bonuses to attract new doctors to their community. According to the aforementioned salary survey, Hospitalists treating adult patients say they receive an average of $33,555 of their compensation from incentives and bonuses.