MGMA Compensation Analysis

MGMA compensation analysis

Most physicians are familiar with the Medical Group Management Association (“MGMA”), but many physicians are not fully aware of what a MGMA compensation analysis reveals.

Virtually every physician knows that a MGMA compensation analysis reveals salary data, but many are unaware of what else a MGMA compensation analysis reveals about physician compensation.

First and foremost, a MGMA compensation analysis reveals physician salary data, which can be broken down into several specific categories. MGMA maintains a separate database for “provider placement”, which reveals guaranteed compensation and various physician benefits such as the amount of CME paid, the amount of the physician sign-on bonus, the amount paid to relocate, CME weeks paid time off, total paid time off (excluding CME) and vacation. The provider placement database generally covers physicians with up to three years in their specialty.

A MGMA compensation analysis for physicians with three or more years in the specialty contains even more data. (Some of this data is also useful in analyzing a starting physician’s compensation package). There are 27 separate data points in the “provider compensation” database. The ones that I most frequently use when I do a physician contract review through the Physician Prosperity Program® are collections, compensation to wRVU ratio, total compensation, total paid time off, vacation, and work RVUs.

There is a separate database listing call coverage benchmarks, including unpaid on-call hours per week, hourly, daily, and weekend and holiday on-call compensation – so a MGMA compensation analysis will also allow you to analyze call coverage requirements.

MGMA also contains a separate database for academic compensation. This database is much like the provider compensation database, and also allows you to filter results based on academic position (e.g., instructor, assistant professor, etc.)

A MGMA compensation analysis allows you to zero in very specifically for a given position. For example, all the databases allow you to filter for the geographical area (East, West, Midwest and South) and also allow you to filter for organizational ownership (e.g., physician versus hospital ownership) and years in the specialty. Within the provider compensation database, you can further filter based upon minor geographic region (e.g., New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania are in the “North Atlantic” minor geographic region).

Armed with a good MGMA compensation analysis, as part of the Physician Prosperity Program® I can tell you that median guaranteed compensation for a starting physician in your specialty employed by a hospital in the East is $X. Since the provider compensation database contains wRVU benchmarks, I can also remark that an incentive compensation bonus is not very generous, because “median wRVU for a physician in your specialty employed by a hospital in the North Atlantic is X, and the median wRVU to compensation ratio is $X.”

I have previously written about employer reaction when MGMA benchmarks are cited in a physician employment agreement review. It becomes very difficult for an employer to argue with benchmarks, particularly when they are laser focused on the geographical area and organizational ownership.

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Dennis Hursh

Dennis Hursh

Dennis Hursh has been providing healthcare legal services in Pennsylvania since 1982. Since 1992, he has been a physician's lawyer serving as Managing Partner of Physician Agreements Health Law. Dennis has devoted his life to serving physicians and medical practices. He is the author of the definitive book on physician contracts "The Final Hurdle - a Physician's Guide to Negotiating a Fair Employment Agreement, and a frequent lecturer on physician employment agreements.

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