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  • Compensation Surveys- inaccurate?

    https://www.medscape.com/physician-s...yoe=1%2C7&emp=

    https://www.medscape.com/slideshow/2...erview-6013761

    How misleading are compensation surveys for physicians? Yes they are surveys with weaknesses , that is a given. Yes, there are large intra specialty variations. Yes, median is different than average..

    The difference between precision and accuracy is acknowledged. However, the reliability of of the compensation data is extremely questionable.
    Salary Explorer vs Annual Survey vs BLS amounts vs MGMA (etc.) for an individual specialty are so distorted at specialty level, can a med student or physician rely on the data for actually knowing if they are fairly paid? If it isn’t accurate at a specialty level, then any other conclusions or choice is invalid. Garbage in means garbage out.

    It seems like the only reliable source is comparing two actual contracts. The the question is not data driven negotiation of the contract, it is BATNA. I found something better.

    Benchmarking compensation, any suggestions?


  • #2
    According to your first Medscape site, I don’t exist.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post
      According to your first Medscape site, I don’t exist.
      Cancel culture?

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      • #4
        I'm a very DIY guy probably like most here, but enlisting the services of an attorney whose negotiated a ton of contracts in your specialty seems like a great way to know the market and i dont see how you could do it without the help of a professional.

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        • #5
          Turf Doc when you find a lawyer who can actually improve contract negotiations for a physician vs a hospital group, or PP in desirable city, let us all know.

          They do help on the back end when already employed and re-negotiating with a hospital or set of administrators. Your biggest negotiating leverage is being the one person who can do something in a place no one wants to be.

          The medscape surveys are not good, IMO.

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          • #6
            My partners, and I, all agreed a long time ago that we would never participate in these salary surveys. We didn’t want hospitals, nor the government (except the IRS, of course), knowing how much money our little niche of the medical world makes. And I can tell you, from the salary surveys I’ve seen, they are way off (lower) than reality for my sub specialty.

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            • #7
              One would argue this for the 'greater good' for docs -- publish your data. Corporations/insurances have HUGE advantage in knowing the playing field. Docs/groups don't. Knowledge is power/leverage.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by StarTrekDoc View Post
                One would argue this for the 'greater good' for docs -- publish your data. Corporations/insurances have HUGE advantage in knowing the playing field. Docs/groups don't. Knowledge is power/leverage.
                Sounds like WCI should do a survey. Probably would be biased but maybe more accurate than the medscape one. He has a large enough audience to get a good sample if there was enough participation.

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                • #9
                  It’s hard to know. My wife and I and I suspect most our physician friends make less than the median for these surveys and our specialties. On the other hand, all the posters who disclose their incomes on the internet seems to make way more. There’s just huge amounts of variability within specialties based on years in practice, lifestyle choices, practice patterns, partnership, academics vs PP vs HMO vs govt vs private equity employment

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Turf Doc View Post
                    I'm a very DIY guy probably like most here, but enlisting the services of an attorney whose negotiated a ton of contracts in your specialty seems like a great way to know the market and i dont see how you could do it without the help of a professional.
                    “One would argue this for the 'greater good' for docs -- publish your data. Corporations/insurances have HUGE advantage in knowing the playing field. Docs/groups don't. Knowledge is power/leverage.”
                    Not against an attorney by any means. Particularly on how a contract is structured. Comp benchmark attorneys use is MGMA. That is 4 geographic regions. Very imprecise for a specific job. Orthopedic Surgeon at $289k (in the first link) just seems way out of line. Some to high, some too low, the lack of. sufficient dats leaves anyone with just that, a lack of data.
                    https://openpayrolls.com
                    You might be able to find the compensation of everyone of your attending. Use that if you consider staying where you train. Great steps are taken to make compensation data extremely hard to get.the unit of measure is compensation for a year. The data is more art than science.
                    I know for a fact, even transparent hospitals always interpret data in their favor. Go back with MGMA data and they sometimes (not really admit) will change the compensation to align YOUR contract. Of course they won’t change your new partners. Attorneys use MGMA and to a much lesser extent anecdotal experience.

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                    • #11
                      I have a different take:
                      Knowing how productive you want to be and what your net collection rate or $/wrvu is. Local hospitals here use MGMA average to calculate $/wRVU and then see how productive you are to calculate salary.
                      Salary surveys are meaningless unless they include total wRVU or collections so I know how hard people are working.

                      all the people I know that make more than me are more productive, in a market that requires more pay because it is undesirable location, or private with more ownership. I'm ok with that.

                      It's simply about knowing your value. Not what you think you are worth but what you can prove you are worth.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Otolith View Post
                        I have a different take:
                        Knowing how productive you want to be and what your net collection rate or $/wrvu is. Local hospitals here use MGMA average to calculate $/wRVU and then see how productive you are to calculate salary.
                        Salary surveys are meaningless unless they include total wRVU or collections so I know how hard people are working.

                        all the people I know that make more than me are more productive, in a market that requires more pay because it is undesirable location, or private with more ownership. I'm ok with that.

                        It's simply about knowing your value. Not what you think you are worth but what you can prove you are worth.
                        Yes, when you “know” how productive you will be in your local environment. A lot of factors besides your personal productivity and effort impact what your actual productivity will be in a different environment. It is not just geographic or PP vs employed. These are to a large degree unknown until you are in that environment. A thirteen state “average” might or might not be “fair”.
                        Would your volumes be the same in a VA, large efficient employed, community hospital employed and PP ASC ? Volumes are impacted by more than just the physician. That is extremely difficult for those in early career to judge.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by StarTrekDoc View Post
                          One would argue this for the 'greater good' for docs -- publish your data. Corporations/insurances have HUGE advantage in knowing the playing field. Docs/groups don't. Knowledge is power/leverage.
                          https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/ho...-doctors-make/

                          MGMA is funded primarily by the employers.
                          Obviously it is in the interest of the employers to protect anonymity. I can only wish the data was available. Would be nice if the WCI article included MGMA data comparisons.
                          Advantage employers.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tim View Post
                            https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/ho...-doctors-make/

                            MGMA is funded primarily by the employers.
                            Obviously it is in the interest of the employers to protect anonymity. I can only wish the data was available. Would be nice if the WCI article included MGMA data comparisons.
                            Advantage employers.
                            Do all "employers" get surveyed? I was head of a private practice group for seven years, and we were never surveyed. All of these surveys have their biases and blindspots and are pretty lousy, IMO.

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                            • #15
                              Todays blog post is on the subject. It does not really provide any answers but confirms that these surveys suck

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