Plastic Surgeon Financial Compensation–Incentivization Models in Surgical Care Delivery: The Past, Present, and Future


Surgeons are critical for the success of any health care enterprise. However, few studies have examined the potential impact of value-based care on surgeon compensation.


This review presents value-based financial incentive models that will shape the future of surgeon compensation. The following incentivization models will be discussed: pay-for-reporting, pay-for-performance, pay-for-patient-safety, bundled payments, and pay-for-academic-productivity. Moreover, the authors suggest the application of the congruence model—a model developed to help business leaders understand the interplay of forces that shape the performance of their organizations—to determine surgeon compensation methods applicable in value-based care-centric environments.


The application of research in organizational behavior can assist health care leaders in developing surgeon compensation models optimized for value-based care. Health care leaders can utilize the congruence model to determine total surgeon compensation, proportion of compensation that is short term versus long term, proportion of compensation that is fixed versus variable, and proportion of compensation based on seniority versus performance.


This review provides a framework extensively studied by researchers in organizational behavior that can be utilized when designing surgeon financial compensation plans for any health care entity shifting toward value-based care.

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