Engaging Physicians in Compensation Redesign

Nine Ways to Build Support

Your compensation plan should serve as a bridge between individual physician performance and health system goals. Here are nine ways to build physician support for compensation redesign.

Effective compensation is strategic compensation. You should confirm your strategic goals before you start drafting your plan.

When redesigning compensation plans, there are two important things to remember:

1. Physicians are more likely to support a compensation plan when they understand health system and medical group strategy—and they can see how the plan supports that strategy.

2. Growth opportunities should inform group strategy and group strategy should inform individual compensation. It's impossible to tightly link physician engagement, compensation design, and organizational strategy without that chain of causation.

Individual incentives built on a base of system-level strategy

So before you start...

Make sure you've taken the time to consider the ways you need your compensation plan to serve as a bridge between individual physician performance and health system goals.

To diagnose your own strategic needs, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your market moving toward value-based purchasing, or will you continue to live in a fee-for-service world?
  • Are you eligible for reimbursement bonuses, or do you face penalties for clinical outcomes or readmission rates?
  • Is increasing patient access to match demand a challenge, or are your physicians under-utilized?
  • What level of strategic investment is your group willing to make in certain clinical specialties?

Nine ways to build physician support for compensation redesign

Start with the end in mind by providing a detailed road map for success. And remember that the best opportunity to secure support comes before the new plan is written—engaging stakeholders from the start is key. Here's how to get started:

1. Centralize management of the process

2. Share decision making

3. Build consensus through iteration

4. Involve stakeholders

5. Demonstrate opportunity, don’t guarantee outcomes

6. Provide a road map for success

7. Provide communication channels for troubleshooting

8. Change gradually

9. Match the pace of the market

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