MAY 13, 2017

Welcome to the Health Care Compensation Update eNewsletter
Editor: Benjamin R. Grant

Hospitals Face Unprecedented Turnover, Attrition Rates: 4 Survey Findings
Hospitals today are facing higher turnover and attrition rates than ever before, according to a survey report from Leaders for Today, a hospital management staffing firm. What's more, increasing turnover isn't limited to certain healthcare jobs -- it is affecting every role from the C-suite to the front desk and the front lines. Here are four main takeaways from the survey.

  1. Continuity in hospital employment is lacking. Nearly 43 percent of respondents reported they have been with their current hospital for fewer than two years and 65.7 percent said they have been with their hospital for fewer than five years.
  2. The current hospital environment promotes high turnover. More than a quarter (27.4 percent) of respondents left their job for a promotion or a better opportunity for advancement. Another 14.4 percent left for better compensation. The largest proportion (58.2 percent) left for other reasons, such as long work hours, frustration and burnout.
  3. The growing proportion of retiring employees poses an additional challenge. As the workforce ages, hospitals are looking at a significantly smaller pool of experienced talent to fill retirees' positions. The survey found 47.7 percent of respondents indicated they plan to retire within the next decade, while 22.1 percent expect to retire within five years.
  4. The hospital hiring process needs a tune up. According to LFT, it appears that hospitals frequently lose candidates who land job opportunities more quickly elsewhere. Respondents cited speed and transparency as the top two frustrations with the hiring process. LFT suggests hospitals will be the most competitive for attracting top talent if they can optimize the hiring process and move quickly.

Should Healthcare Trainees Be Treated as Paid Employees in California?
Narciso Lara, 36, was trying to support his family in Salinas as a forklift driver but didn't see any opportunity for advancement. So last year, he enrolled in a community college program to become a radiologic technologist. Now, Lara takes classes at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, Calif., and gets hands-on training at a health clinic nearby. By the end of the 22-month program, he will have completed 1,850 clinical hours -- all unpaid. That could change under the terms of proposed state legislation that would require hospitals and clinics to pay minimum wage to Lara and other students who are completing the training hours necessary to become allied health professionals. The current minimum wage in California is $10.50 an hour for organizations with more than 25 employees, and it is scheduled to rise to $15 over the next five years. The bill, AB 387, would cover an estimated 50,000 people training for jobs such as respiratory therapists, vocational nurses, dietitians and pharmacy technicians. It would not cover marriage and family therapists or psychologists.

A Back-to-Basics Physician Compensation Strategy Could Improve Job Satisfaction and Patient Care
Paying doctors a set salary instead of compensating them based on volume could improve physician satisfaction and patient care. Fee-for-service payment schemes encourage doctors to order more, and different, tests and procedures for patients in order to get paid. Major providers such as Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and Kaiser Permanente have found success in this approach. A common strategy is to have doctors disclose any financial interest in a given procedure, but disclosing conflicts of interest has had minimal, and sometimes negative, impacts on patient care.

How Adding Physician Assistants Improves Hospital Revenue Cycle
Physician assistants are key players on hospital care teams, but leveraging staffing levels and care delivery capabilities may improve hospital revenue cycle. Hospitals may want to consider adding physician assistants to their care teams to fill workforce gaps created by the doctor shortage. Additional physician assistants may also help hospitals successfully manage administrative tasks that overwhelm physician workflows. Allowing physician assistants to manage administrative duties, such as filtering important patient and staff messages or documenting key patient concerns before a physician enters the exam room, could help doctors spend more face-to-face time with their patients. Fortunately for hospital leaders, the current supply of physician assistants is high to meet growing demand. The AAPA reported that the physician assistant workforce has doubled in size every decade since 1980.


ASHHRA Annual Conference Call for the Poster Presentations
ASHHRA is offering an exclusive opportunity for your best practice to be prominently on display as a poster presentation. You will be face-to-face with attendees, making valuable connections and be seen as the expert prominently displayed at the ASHHRA Annual Conference. The Call for the Poster Presentations is now open until June 16, 2017.

Open Payments 2016 Review and Dispute Period Ends May 15
Physicians and teaching hospitals may review and dispute 2016 payments reported to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Open Payments program through May 15. Applicable drug and medical device makers and group purchasing organizations must annually report certain payments made to physicians and teaching hospitals, who may review and dispute inaccuracies for 45 days. The manufacturers and GPOs then have 15 days to resolve and submit corrections. Disputed data that is not resolved in the 15-day period will be publicly reported June 30 on the Open Payments website but marked as disputed. Physicians and teaching hospitals can continue to register and initiate disputes after the 45-day review period, but resolutions will not be publicly displayed until the next reporting cycle. To review data, physicians and teaching hospitals must be registered to use both the Open Payments system and CMS Enterprise Portal. For more on the review and dispute process, visit www.cms.gov.

Healthcare Consultant Salary
A Healthcare Consultant earns an average salary of $75,511 per year. Experience has a moderate effect on income for this job. The skills that increase pay for this job the most are Strategic Planning, Consulting Management, Process Improvement, SAS, and Business Development.

The 5 Highest Paying Jobs In Healthcare
According to a new report from LinkedIn, these are the top jobs in healthcare when it comes to earnings:

  1. Orthopedic Surgeon - median salary $355,545. Orthopedic surgeons are paid a generous salary. That shouldn't come as a surprise, considering all of the education and training this work requires. As the baby boomer generation ages (and their knees, hips, etc., do too) these professionals are sure to continue to be busy. Pay varies for orthopedic surgeons, and residence tends to be the biggest factor in getting toward the higher end of the spectrum. Experience also factors in.
  2. Surgeon - median salary $254,822. General surgeons are the second highest paid professionals in the healthcare industry. Their sizable salaries vary considerably, though. Location is a major factor, as well as years of experience. Job satisfaction for surgeons is generally high. It should be noted that this profession is largely male-dominated - only about one-third are women, according to PayScale's data. The discrepancy is even worse for the number one ranked job of orthopedic surgeon - only about 17 percent of those who completed PayScale's salary survey were women.
  3. Cardiologist - median salary $225,656. Geographic location and tenure are the best indicators of salary for cardiologists, but these healthcare professionals take home a great salary across the board. As with the other professions on the list, cardiologists report a high level of job satisfaction.
  4. Radiologist - median salary $292,873. Another high-paying job in the healthcare industry is the job of radiologist. These are doctors who also have specific training in analyzing medical images, like X-rays, and making recommendations for initial treatment to care physicians. Hospitals and clinics employ many of these professionals, but others work in specialized radiology and imaging clinics.
  5. Anesthesiologist - median salary $269,612. Unlike some of the other jobs on this list, anesthesiologists' pay doesn't change dramatically with experience, but it does increase modestly. These workers make good money though, and they tend to keep daytime hours unless they work at a hospital that keeps more extensive hours for surgeries. Like all of the professions on the list, the job of anesthesiologist is very important and it requires a tremendous amount of education and training.

For a complimentary PayScale benchmark analysis for a position of your choice, please email BenG@payscale.com.

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Benjamin R. Grant