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Do reported base salary averages include benefits?

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  • Do reported base salary averages include benefits?

    I'm an internal medicine doctor in the same practice for more than ten years, and my annual wRVUs are above average for internists.  I feel that my employer is offering a low salary (base plus bonus) based on median salaries that I see on MGMA or Merritt-Hawkins websites.  When I have brought this up to my employer in the past, they're response is that the base salaries listed on those sites include benefits such as retirement contributions, CME, malpractice insurance, etc, so they're not equivalent to an annual paid salary.  Is this is true, how much of the reported salaries can be accounted for by benefits?

  • #2
    I've answered these surveys and always just report my direct compensation (the salary on my contract).  I wouldn't even know what things like my malpractice insurance cost in order to report them.

    One suggestion:  If you try to negotiate based on averages/numbers/stats... well, no one ever left a job in favor of an MGMA average.  On the other hand, if you make a request based on another contract offer you have in hand, it will communicate something entirely different and will get your employer's attention.

     

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    • #3
      I've never answered on total 'calculated' compensation (benefits +retirement+ cme funding, etc), just pure $$$ in paycheck.   It's too hard to estimate that number.

      Your employer is deflecting their low reimbursement.  Chances are that retirement maybe on the low side too in many of these cases.  If you have Kaiser in the neighborhood, that's a great way to cross shop.

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      • #4
        MGMA clearly states that benefits are separate from the reported salary on their survey. The same is also valid for data analysis.

         

        If you're making more than median W RVUs, you should definitely make more than median salary-as each RVUs above the median should be worth more since the fixed cost of benefits remains the same. Also, the fixed cost of practice makes the RVUs more valuable above median.

         

        MGMA also reports the benefits separately

         

        Let me know if you need any specific data related help.

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        • #5
          Agreed with the above.  Becker and MGMA do not include bonuses in their compensation data.  You can find this information online, as well.

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          • #6
            Thank you for making a great points. I live in Maryland so I think there are a lot of employment opportunities out there. I haven't searched for a while, but may start with Kaiser. Do you think using a recruiter would be helpful?

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            • #7
              I agree.  Sounds like your employer is making good money from your higher than average productivity and they don't want to share any of the profit you're generating for them.  I would definitely shop around a little, especially if you don't have a non-compete claus in your contract.  If you do have such a claus, that can be a PITA.

              Are you hospitalist or outpatient?

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              • #8
                it's all a scam.  the more rvu you generate, the lower the next survey will set the $/wRVU.

                if your employer is a large hospital system, they aren't going to change for you.  if it is a big deal, pack up the family and get ready to move.

                They have already demonstrated that they are liars or incompetent.  either is not good to build a relationship around or a long term career around.

                having said that, i am always perplexed by the internal medicine numbers, because they always appear to be crazy inflated.  best i can figure it, the numbers are skewed by people who see 40 patients per day, or by people who do botox, sell vitamins, and offer lots of procedures and live in areas without a lot of competition.

                jmo.

                 

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                • #9
                  I do not believe most administrations think that much and figure out the details as to how much the physician brings and how much they pay them.

                   

                  It's up to you to demonstrate to them that it is in their best interest to continue to pay you competitively.

                   

                  I've always found my administration not to be fully understanding of the data, and they do not understand the finer aspects of the business of medicine either. If you are lazy about negotiating, it is in their favor-and they could care less. Sometimes, there is no ulterior motive of trying to be someone less, but just laziness for them not understanding the data.

                   

                  The MGMA data is largely employed physicians-and typically cannot be skewed by over the counter product sales etc.

                   

                  Most contracts for higher salaried internal medicine physicians are usually set a dollar per RVU.

                   

                  My experience with my administration has been that they're very lazy and easy-going when it comes to negotiating to a physician's benefit. But if you talk to them, and impress upon the fact how they are saving a lot by keeping you employed, and gently tell them that you may have better offers if you were to look elsewhere, they would definitely want to keep you back.

                   

                   

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                  • #10
                    Would matching for retirement accounts be included in the Total Compensation charts for MGMA?

                    A recent offer from the hospital included salary, malpractice insurance, CME, FICA&Medicare Contribution, Licenseing Fees, Health/Dental Insurance, Disability, matched retirement savings. The total of all these was listed as Total Compensation which seems ludicrous to me.

                     

                    Which lines should be included to match what is reported for the total mean compensation?

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

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                    • #11




                      Do you think using a recruiter would be helpful?
                      Click to expand...


                      They probably won't be worth their cost (money coming out of your pocket). If you aren't afraid to do a little leg work, I would certainly recommend bypassing the recruiter.

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                      • #12




                        Would matching for retirement accounts be included in the Total Compensation charts for MGMA?

                        A recent offer from the hospital included salary, malpractice insurance, CME, FICA&Medicare Contribution, Licenseing Fees, Health/Dental Insurance, Disability, matched retirement savings. The total of all these was listed as Total Compensation which seems ludicrous to me.

                         

                        Which lines should be included to match what is reported for the total mean compensation?
                        Click to expand...


                        It is very difficult to get apples-to-apples comparisons for reported compensation in surveys and especially to compare with an in-hand offer. When I respond to a survey, I feel like I am always fudging the number somehow and am not sure if I am fudging the same from survey to the next or from one year to the next. And everyone else is in the same boat.

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                        • #13
                          Related, but unrelated.  Just curious.... What's the average wRVU production/day for an internist? Or any specialty for that matter.  Maybe we can start another thread.

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                          • #14
                            In my desireable east coast city, the 3 hospital systems all seem to know what the pays.  Their pay scales - a blend of wrvu and quality - are pretty similar.  And I am >80% WRVU but earn less than 75%tile MGMA. I think there is a lot of geographic arbitrage / variability in pay. When I asked on this forum about $ per wrvu, the numbers varied widely ($20/wrvu widely) with our location towards the bottom.

                             

                            the amounts do not include benefits.

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