Physician and Advanced Practice Provider Recruiting Incentives

Carnahan Group Special Topics Review

Physician and Advanced Practice Provider Recruiting Incentives


Physician and Advanced Practice Provider Recruiting Incentives. Carnahan Group illustrated in a July 2016 article how Advanced Practice Providers (“APPs”) will begin to fill most of the care delivery roles in the future due to the increasing shortage of physicians.1 According to new data published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (“AAMC”), the United States could see an estimated shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034, including shortfalls in both primary and specialty care.2 The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the national shortage in physician and advanced practice providers (“APPs”), predominantly in primary care specialties.

Validating Carnahan Group’s prediction, AAMC indicated that demand for nurse practitioners (“NPs”) and physician assistants (“PAs”) is increasing. For the first time, NPs placed second on Merritt Hawkins’ list of most requested search engagements. And, the number of searches Merritt Hawkins conducted for NPs and PAs increased by 54% year-over-year, with their role likely to increase post-COVID-19.

While the subject is addressed in another Carnahan Group issue brief, Compensating Physicians for APP Supervision, the prevalence of physicians being compensated for providing APP supervision is also on the rise.

Recruiting Incentive Data for Physicians and APP’s

Hospitals and health systems recruiting both APPs and physicians are feeling the pressure of the provider shortage. As a result, these organizations are having to increasingly offer lucrative recruiting incentives to help fill the coverage gap. The need and amount for recruiting incentives are generally tied to the supply and demand of qualified providers, competitive environment, community attractiveness, work demands of the position, etc. Carnahan Group generally observes richer incentives being offered in rural and isolated locations.

The 2020 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives and the Impact of COVID-19 is based on a sample of 3,251 permanent physicians and advanced practitioners search engagements that Merritt Hawkins/AMN Healthcare’s physician staffing companies had ongoing or were engaged to conduct during the 12-month period from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020. The following table illustrates the top 10 specialty responses compiled from the survey.

Top 10 Responses by Specialty
Family Medicine (includes FP/OP)448
Nurse Practitioner270
Internal Medicine146
Hematology & Oncology91
Physician Assistant84

The following data gathered by Merritt Hawkins provides insight into the types and amounts of incentives currently being offered to Physicians and APPs.

PhysicianRelocation Allowance*
Low$ 1,000
Average$ 10,553
High$ 40,000
PhysicianSign-on Bonus*
Low$ 2,500
Average$ 27,893
High$ 100,000

PhysicianEducational Loan Assistance
Low$ 10,000
Average$ 101,590
High$ 300,000

Advanced Practice ProviderRelocation Allowance*
Low$ 2,000
Average$ 7,114
High$ 15,00

Advanced Practice ProviderSign-on Bonus*
Low$ 2,500
Average$ 8,500
High$ 35,000

Advanced Practice ProviderEducational Loan Assistance
Low$ 40,000
Average$ 68,333
High$ 90,000

*Merrit Hawkins 2019/2020

How We Can Help

Carnahan Group has analyzed a myriad of compensation arrangements that include recruiting incentives for physicians and APP’s. The FMV-MD™ platform empowers Carnahan Group’s Clients with the ability to enter recruiting incentives for physicians and APP’s while analyzing the total compensation package for stacking purposes. Additionally, CarnahanGroup utilizes proprietary data, which is consistent with the data presented above by Merritt Hawkins, to analyze recruiting incentives.

Carnahan Group is a national health care consulting firm specializing in strategic, business, and compensation valuation services. The firm also performs Community Health Needs Assessments (“CHNAs”), Physician Workforce Analyses and Planning along with strategic advisory services. Carnahan Group’s clients encompass large integrated and academic health systems, physician practices, and various ambulatory care providers, rural hospitals as well as pharmaceutical and device companies.

Please contact Carnahan Group for additional information or a focused analysis on physician and APP recruiting incentives.

Prepared by Adrian Machin and Dan Stech

Disclosure: Our business is not a law firm and is not acting as your attorney or providing you with legal advice, legal representation, or advocacy of any kind.


Visit our FMVMD site.