Wednesday, May 25, 2022

response set #3: staff practitioner compensation structure

David Fenton

Original Question:

Greeting List,
Question for owners of small O & P facility: In these challenging and
unjust financial times, what creative structures are being used to
compensate staff practitioners? In light of situations where the revenue
generated and recorded for a particular month can be quite different after
a Medicare takeback occurs months later or payment is delayed for a year or

Response 8:
I am very troubled after having read response #4. I am a small business
owner and compensate my practitioners very fairly… Similar sentiment of
that of response #6.
The young people that are getting out of school now days have no idea the
climate we are in. They have no idea the “cost” of doing business. They
want to be compensated very well plus health benefits, plus vacation, plus
sick, plus 401k matching, plus plus plus. They have no idea! I feel that
the schools are not educating them of the “New Normal”.
They feel entitled to it because they have masters degrees.
They should have gotten in this field because they feel that they can make
an impact on patients quality of life not because they wanted to make a lot
if money. They have no idea that they DO need to learn to market and
solidify a relationship. If they do not want to do what it takes to make
the company profitable, then they should find work in the VA system or
Shriners hospital. Those are the facilities that you have patients come to
Sorry to go on a rant but my practiced just interviewed an individual that
had very unrealistic expectations!

Response 9:
Response number 4 is exactly a response I would expect to read. We have
too many schools, giving students false expectations of their chosen
field. I finished Southwestern in 2004. They never mentioned the amount
of marketing (selling) required and they insisted a 6 figure income for an
experienced practitioner should be expected. They didn’t say a word about
the fact that many small practices struggle to make payroll and may ask you
to wait on your paycheck. Obviously schools are responsible to fill
classes and graduate students, but at what expense? I am
currently involved with a coalition to fight reimbursement reductions by
BCBS in Tennessee. I love my profession but under the current
circumstances, I would not encourage anyone to become a CPO.

Response 10:
SELL SELL SELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Response 11:
I liked your question, and totally understand the frustrations you are
having as we have two patient care offices. I’m also saddened by more than
one of the responses. It shouldn’t be only the owners, or only the
practitioners that are affected by the reduction in production, and it
should be the responsibility of both to come up with ways to become more
efficient so that production can go back up. Just as response 4
demonstrates, it is frequently not understood that the practitioners need
to produce to be paid what they are paid, just like almost every other job.
But it is not all on them to get the work done and bring in the funds. And
just as practitioners are or should be realizing that it will not be as
easy to make the money they made, that can and should also be understood by
owners as well.

Response 12:
In response to “new graduate, responder #4”
I understand completely how you may feel. I too am close to your position
with my masters degree, but I feel you are incorrect in the threat that new
graduates are turning away because 40-50k is too little. First off – in
several, *many *other fields people get masters degrees and they make LESS
or equivalent (ie: social work, music degrees, teachers, counselors, many
public sector jobs). Your statement is a reflection that perhaps our
educators need to take note of this and prepare students more
realistically. And you will be able to earn more money – just give yourself
time and experience and time. Our generation just expects things too
instantly. Finally you’re correct — if you came in to clinical work just
to make a lot of money fast – you should consider not doing clinical care.
The patients are the ones not to forget here and we are all
(practitioners, business owners, administrators) working really really hard
to get the payment we deserve.

Thank you for your comment though, its great to hear the perspective of

Response 13:
Yes, it is important for anyone entering the field to understand that
there is a “new-norm” . In private practices, practitioners are the
revenue generators and compensation is in fact tied to productivity. This
IS the “business of healthcare”, and is quite challenging. Noone is going
to command a high salary simply because of their certification or degree.
With declining reimbursement, outrageous medicare audits and regulations
the day of the 100k salary are all but gone. Anyone entering this
field needs to be a business professional, marketer, AND clinician if they
wish to earn even a reasonable wage. If money is your motivation, no this
is probably not your field.

Thank you All who commented! I will continue to post responses as they come


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