The Department of Veterans Affairs is proposing a rehaul of its payment structure for physicians and dentists, adding measurements for their productivity at the VA and their market value at nearby non-VA institutions.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi recently proposed the changes to Congress, according to a VA release from last week.
The release says the new pay system would be based on three elements, or "tiers":
- A base-pay range that would apply to all doctors and dentists, regardless of grade.
- Market pay, based on "geographic area, specialty, assignment, personal qualifications and experience."
- Performance, based on "specific achievements in quality, productivity and support of department goals."
The release says VA facilities have shortages of physicians in anesthesiology, cardiology, gastroenterology, oncology, orthopedic surgery, radiology and urology because private and academic sectors pay 35% or more for these specialists than the VA.
"With the veteran population aging, and increasing numbers of veterans enrolling in the VA health care system," Principi adds, "it is critical for VA to offer more competitive compensation for its physicians, dentists and nurse executives."