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Hospitals Tops in Physician Benefits

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 11, 2014

Physicians employed by hospitals enjoy richer benefits and potentially fewer administrative hassles, but physicians employed by private practice express higher satisfaction with their compensation packages, survey data shows.

Physicians working in physician-owned practices are most satisfied with their compensation packages when compared with colleagues working for universities or hospitals, a survey shows.

However, the 2014 Physician Compensation, Benefits and Recruitment Incentives Report from the St. Paul, MN-based Association of Staff Physician Recruiters also found that hospitals generally offer better benefits and recruiting incentives.

"A big trend we are seeing is that the hospital-employed physicians seem to be receiving better benefits and more recruitment incentives compared to those in the university setting and physician-owned practices," says ASPR Executive Director Jennifer Metivier.

"With the trends in more hospital employment, hospitals are doing all they can to entice physicians to become their employees. It is not surprising, honestly."

"Overall physicians are more interested in employment opportunities because they don't have to deal with the administrative and overhead issues. They come to work. They treat their patients. They do their paperwork and they go home. They don't have to worry about the business aspect."

Even though hospitals were able to offer richer benefits and recruiting packages and potentially fewer administrative hassles, Metivier says the survey shows that employed physicians working in private practice expressed the highest satisfaction with their compensation packages.

"That is because they are defining it and they are in charge of it themselves," she says. "They're happy with how they are getting paid because they're dictating. In a hospital or university setting, someone else is determining how they are going to get paid."

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