The study, which was jointly conducted by the Medical Group Management Association and the Society of Hospital Medicine, found that the hospitalists who performed the most work were those whose compensation included the highest percentages of variable incentive pay. Conversely, those whose paychecks were comprised of more than 90% fixed base salary performed the least amount of work.
The “work” measured by researchers was based on Medicare's published work relative value units, or wRVUs. “While it is important to keep in mind that wRVUs cannot measure every work effort, this survey data will definitely support better decisions about how hospitalist practices are resourced,” William Landis, a physician and a committee chairman with the Society of Hospital Medicine, says in a written release.
The survey also found that the most productive hospitalists worked in practices that were not owned by hospitals, and that practices that used on-call coverage at night were more productive than those with physicians providing on-site care at night.