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Hospitalist salaries can depend on region, qualifications, program structure, and productivity. Those with more experience and qualifications tend to earn more money, especially if they work for regional networks of hospitals or insurance companies. Demand can be higher in urban areas, which drives compensation up. Finally, hospitalists who see more patients and bill more procedures may make a higher salary. Market forces like inflation can also be an influence on hospitalist salaries.
These medical specialists provide treatment to adult patients in the hospital. Members of this profession commonly specialize in internal medicine and may pursue fellowships to refine their skills as hospitalists. One important factor in hospitalist salaries is the qualifications of the individual medical practitioner. Graduates of prestigious fellowships with publication credits and a history of participation in continuing education may make more, especially if they have years of experience as well.
The structure of a hospital or network can also have an impact on hospitalist salaries. People working at small regional facilities make less than those who are part of network plans. Academics who conduct research and teaching in addition to patient care are often at the lower end of the pay scale. Reputable and highly regarded facilities may provide more compensation, but also have higher qualification demands, because they want to attract the best staff.
Productivity can be another factor in hospitalist salaries. Hospitalists seeing large numbers of patients and regularly bill procedures can increase bottom lines for their employers and may be rewarded with more pay, benefits, and bonuses. Often, these medical professionals have to balance concerns about the number of working hours with the desire to earn more while still providing patients with the care they need. Cramming appointments into the day, for example, might mean that the physician misses something and endangers a patient.
Demand is also an issue. When the supply of hospitalists exceeds job openings, pay can drop, and employers can be more choosy about who they choose to bring into a facility. As demand rises, pay increases, and employees are in a stronger negotiating position to argue for more benefits. In a region where salaries are low, relocating may be a way to access higher hospitalist salaries, by meeting demand in another area. Sometimes doctors may be offered moving bonuses and housing assistance as incentives to start practicing in a new area, which is something to consider for physicians who are thinking about moving.