Feb. 24, 2015, Dallas, Tex. – Hospitals and physician employers are offering up to $200,000 to sign a physician to fill key openings, a new report from The Medicus Firm physician search consultancy shows, underscoring the importance of offering signing bonuses to secure physicians. Additionally, the report reveals a growing trend of offering signing bonuses for non-physician advanced practice providers such as nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs), as competition for such providers also intensifies.
In 2014, 50 percent of non-physician providers were offered a signing bonus, compared with only 11 percent in 2013. Additionally, the average signing bonus for a PA or NP increased from $3,000 in 2013 to $7,500 in 2014.
“What was once considered going ‘above and beyond’ in up-front bonuses, is now the standard practice. Most physicians expect a five-figure signing bonus when they are being recruited, so, to really get a physician’s attention for particularly challenging searches, some employers are offering six-figure signing bonuses,” states Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm.
“Prior to 2014, the largest signing bonus offered to one of our physicians was $75,000,” Stone adds. “In 2014, the highest signing bonus was $200,000. Already in 2015 we’ve placed a primary care physician with a signing bonus of $100,000 in a small town in New England.” He adds that he expects to see more employers and recruiters following suit with significantly sizeable signing bonuses.
The 2014 Provider Placement Summary includes five years of placement data from hospitals nationwide, and includes an analysis of hiring trends illustrated by placements in more than 200 facilities in a variety of settings.
The Medicus Firm releases an annual report summarizing the placement trends of the past several years, and the average signing bonus upon placement has ranged from $20,000 – $25,000 over the past five years.
Other healthcare workforce trends highlighted in the provider placement report include:
o D.O. placements (vs. MDs) have almost doubled since 2011, increasing from 5.4 percent in 2011 to 9.90 percent in 2014.
o Non-physician advanced practice providers (PA/NP) placements increased from 1.32% in 2012 to 6.34% in 2014. Physician Assistants were the fifth most-placed provider in 2014, up from 6th in 2013, (prior to that year, PA placements weren’t in the top ten.)
o Primary Care providers continue to be top needs. Specialties placed the most frequently, for the 3rd consecutive year, were Family practice, Hospitalist, and Internal Medicine, respectively, from first to third.
o Placements of American Medical Graduates increased to a five-year high of 68.78 percent, up from 56.1 percent in 2010.
o The percentage of placements in urban/metro communities jumped nearly 9 points from 25 percent in 2013 to 33.66 percent in 2014.
“The increase in the placement of providers in larger metropolitan areas is noteworthy for healthcare employers, because, historically there has been a perception among hiring authorities that hospitals in metropolitan areas don’t ‘need’ to retain a search firm to find doctors. However, many urban centers are finding it increasingly challenging to find enough physicians, particularly primary care physicians and hospitalists, needed to meet the growing demand,” Jim Stone concludes.
For a copy of the 2015 Provider Placement Summary 2010-2014, email Andrea Clement Santiago, asantiago@TheMedicusFirm.com