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How Next-Gen Physician Compensation Data Reporting Offers Visibility and Insight that Spreadsheets Cannot
Compensation is one of the most powerful tools in recruiting and retaining physicians, APPs, and other providers, and it can be a determining factor in whether health systems, hospitals, and medical groups successfully meet organizational goals. Yet many such groups struggle to answer even basic questions around compensation.
As most provider compensation professionals will profess, most of their comp management process resides in creating Excel spreadsheets and producing reports that try to incorporate a complicated mix of compensation factors. The result is that data analysis and reporting are time-consuming, laborious, error-prone, and limited. But because the spreadsheet approach to compensation handling is so prevalent, many health systems and medical groups may not even realize just how transformative next-generation reporting can be.
The lack of a single “source of truth” solution means key data elements are distributed through multiple systems. Some of that data can be manually entered into Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet, but some of it will remain permanently siloed and locked away. Then, because humans are entering all the data, errors inevitably creep in.
Indeed, with the right reporting platform, data can be aggregated in one repository, so that manual processes can be automated, the inaccuracies in spreadsheets can be eliminated, and reports can be generated in minutes versus hours.
“It’s allowed more time for analysts to focus on more meaningful work because they are not entering RVUs into a spreadsheet and making sure all their formulas are accurate and tying to the correct cells,” says their Director of Physician Contracting.
The Idaho system’s VP of Finance says the new level of real-time data availability and reporting enabled them to transform how they approach compensation. “We changed our whole budgeting process post-COVID, moving to a rolling forecast,” the VP says. “The reporting platform was crucial because we’re constantly forecasting now.”
What does next-gen provider compensation reporting look like?
A source of truth solution that can connect all the disparate data sources – everything from Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems to HR systems and more – can also aggregate all that data into a single repository that makes all information related to provider compensation available and analyzable.
“From a day‑to‑day working perspective, [data aggregation] has helped considerably,” says the Vice President of Operations and Finance at a Kentucky-based health system at a Kentucky-based health system also using HII PC. “Now, I’ve got our total [data] collection at my fingertips. I’ve got total RVUs. I can do quick math because I can get to any data so fast.”
She’s talking about her experience with a compensation management platform that itself does the heavy lifting for the user, providing virtually endless ways to slice-and-dice that data into usable reports and dashboards at a click:
- Alerting users to what payments are due or missing data
- Identifying when a contract has been changed or asking for approval of a certain change
- Adjudicating payments to ensure that all payments to providers are consistently calculated and adhere to the active contract between physicians and the organization
- Determining provider headcount or FTEs count by specialty or by compensation philosophy
- Identifying contracts that are renewing or expiring soon
However, perhaps the most important reports are productivity and exception reports
Productivity reports are how organizations ensure their providers are meeting objectives, but to do that, the reporting system must be able to drill down into granular data elements – wRVUs, visits, targets, tiered rates, and many more – to offer a complete picture of the complex mix of ever-evolving productivity and non-productivity-based metrics.
Exception and disparity reports are just as crucial. Organizations can’t solve problems they don’t know exist, and automated alerts in a “source of truth” compensation management system can pull critical pieces of data before users even know that information is needed.
That’s the only way for health systems and medical groups to avoid over- or underpaying their providers before money goes out. For example, imagine a new hire negotiates guaranteed compensation for six months before moving to the organization’s value-based compensation model, but they’re using a manual process, and no one remembers to change the model in the system. That hire could then spend additional days, weeks, or months on their guaranteed pay, irrespective of performance. The right compensation management system can surface these kinds of exceptions by running a straightforward discrepancy report. Even better, the system could generate a report of upcoming changes or even handle the model changeover itself and prevent the problem in the first place.
“It is the ease of being able to get to information,” says the VP of the Kentucky-based health system, “and you know it’s good data, and you can run with it. Being paid correctly is something that people count on. It’s credibility. You need to ensure that your providers are paid appropriately.”
However, next-gen reporting doesn’t just benefit administrators. Providers themselves gain distinct advantages from having access to personalized, role-based dashboards populated with real-time data they can slice and dice on their own. We’ll look at the impact that a high-functioning reporting platform can have on providers in our next article.
About Heisenberg II Physician Compensation
To fill the growing need for a smart automated platform for provider compensation administration, Hallmark Health Care Solutions developed Heisenberg II (HII), which is being used in all 50 states and is approaching 40,000 contracted providers and $3 billion + in calculated compensation. Click here to learn more.