Stroudwater Associates Releases First of Its Kind Rural Provider Compensation Report

Results illustrate the enormous variability in provider pay across rural organizations and the need to align provider pay with the organizations’ goals

PORTLAND, Maine, Dec. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Stroudwater Associates, the nation’s leading source for operational, financial, quality, and clinical strategy for rural and community healthcare, has released the results of The State of Rural Compensation in 2023 in partnership with the National Rural Health Association (NRHA).

The survey results and report illustrate the enormous variability in provider pay across rural organizations and the pressing need for rural healthcare to align its provider compensation with the organizations’ goals.  

“For years, compensation data has been widely accessible in urban and suburban settings that often have larger hospitals, health systems, and academic medical centers. Rural hospitals face different challenges as it relates to provider compensation packages, and it was critical that they have data that applies to them,” says Opal H. Greenway, J.D., M.B.A, C.V.A. “The inaugural results of the survey underscore that current rural provider compensation strategies are unsustainable, defy best practices, and could lead to compliance risks for hospitals.”

The Rural Provider Compensation Survey measured total compensation paid within a calendar year, consistent with the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) definition of total compensation. The survey received 156 responses from 42 states representing over 6,000 providers.

“This survey and its findings represent a crucial step in supporting the success of rural hospitals,” emphasized Alan Morgan, CEO of NRHA. “Healthcare providers in rural areas face notably different challenges compared to urban settings. Understanding compensation structures tailored to these unique circumstances is essential.”

Key results from the rural provider compensation survey include:

  • 56% of respondents pay providers straight salary with no performance or quality incentives
  • 17.7% of family medicine physicians without OB earn more than $305,500 annually
  • Independent and affiliated rural hospitals may not know what they are paying providers covered under Professional Service Agreements (PSAs)

Stroudwater Associates plans to update and distribute this survey annually at no cost to continue to provide rural hospitals with information on physician and advanced practice provider compensation.  

To download the full report, please click here.

About Stroudwater Associates

Founded in 1985, Stroudwater Associates is a leading national healthcare consulting firm with offices in Nashville, TN, and Portland, Maine. We focus on strategic, operational, clinical, quality, and financial areas where our perspective offers the highest value for rural hospitals, community hospitals, healthcare systems, and large physician groups. Stroudwater’s team includes clinicians, managers, corporate officers, investment bankers, financial analysts, and content specialists with deep domain expertise.

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SOURCE Stroudwater Associates