PYA Covid-19 Information Hub
Published July 23, 2020

How COVID-19 May Affect Your Employed Physician Compensation — New PYA White Paper

PYA’s latest white paper explores what you need to know and steps you need to take to evaluate employed physician compensation in the COVID-19 era.

PYA, a national professional services firm with specialized expertise in healthcare consulting and public accounting, has released a new white paper that offers health system executives guidance for examining the impact of COVID-19 on employed physician compensation now and in the post-pandemic future. “COVID-19 and Employed Physician Compensation: Immediate and Long-Term Impacts” breaks down key areas of immediate consideration—adjustments for physician employment agreements paid on capacity- or non-productivity-based models as well as productivity models, preparation for physician contract renewal adjustments, physician leader engagement, and employed physician committee compensation planning.

According to the white paper, “Physicians particularly impacted are those whose compensation is based upon productivity, especially if such productivity is largely dependent upon elective procedures. The impact will also likely be felt by physicians supporting elective procedures, such as anesthesiologists. By contrast, an employed physician paid a straight salary likely will not have this issue; however, certain statistical threshold measures, such as personally performed work relative value units (wRVUs), may require attention.”

In exploring the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on employed physician compensation, the white paper examines three questions to which health system executives will need to respond before their boards: What just happened? What happens next? What’s the plan. And to that end, it offers five actionable steps that involve assistance from physician leaders, revisitation of telehealth compensation, preparation for value-based compensation, preparedness for COVID-19 impact on benchmark survey data, and strategy around Stark Law revisions.

The paper acknowledges that “it may be years before the ultimate impact of COVID-19 on employed physician compensation is realized,” but “with a well-planned physician compensation strategy and careful assessment of these…considerations, a health system will be in a better position to more successfully navigate the uncertainty.”

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