Development and Impact of a Novel Academic Primary Care Compensation Model. Academic Article uri icon


  • Traditional productivity-based compensation models do not align well with newer population-based approaches to primary care. There are few published examples of academic general internal medicine compensation models that explicitly reward population health management, including care for patients between visits.To describe the development and implementation of an academic general internal medicine compensation plan based upon actual work performed, compare satisfaction across primary care specialties, and evaluate work-related outcomes.Observational study.Forty-seven general internists who practice in affiliated academic and community clinics.Clinician satisfaction with compensation plan, workforce stability, panel data, and productivity.The compensation plan change was associated with higher provider satisfaction. Sixty-five percent (31/47) of participants within general internal medicine reported being satisfied or very satisfied, as compared to 24 % (22/90 participants) for family medicine and 22 % (5/23 participants) for general pediatrics (pā€‰<ā€‰0.05). In the first 4 years of the compensation plan change, no general internists left to join other local groups. General internal medicine increased its number of physicians by 19 %. The number of established general internists accepting new patients increased from 17 to 48 %, while the relative value units per full-time equivalent declined by 3 %.An equitable compensation model that aligns with population management goals and work performed outside the clinical visit can lead to improved satisfaction and retention of faculty in an academic general internal medicine division, along with improved access for the patient population.

publication date

  • December 2015