When using compensation benchmark data from organizations like MGMA (Medical Group Management Association), AMGA (American Medical Group Association), or SullivanCotter, it’s crucial to adhere to best practices and guidelines to ensure accurate interpretation and application. Here are some key considerations: 

  • Use the median: Using the median benchmark is recommended instead of the mean since the median is not influenced by outliers in a data set. 
  • Be mindful of sample size: The larger the sample size, the more reliable the benchmark. Some specialties are more abundant than others in terms of available data points. In the absence of data, it is important to be cautious about extrapolating any definitive conclusions. 
  • Data Segmentation and Relevance: Verify that the appropriate industry, geography, and specialty are considered. Different regions and specialties may have varying compensation norms, so it’s essential to use data that closely matches the subject’s profile. National benchmarks are a great starting point, but regional benchmarks are often more relevant. 
  • Be mindful of how the data is reported: Some surveys may not report a given percentile (i.e. 80th percentile is reported in one data set while 75th is utilized in another). This is important to consider when comparing benchmarks from different data sources. 
  • Consider FTE levels: When applying benchmarks to less than 1.0 FTEs, it is important to convert the subject of benchmarking to a 1.0 FTE for an accurate comparison with benchmark figures (which are reported as 1.0 FTE). 
  • Considering a weighted average of benchmark data: When using several benchmark sources, calculating a weighted average of the benchmarks would yield a more robust comparison. 
  • Contextual Analysis: Interpret the benchmark data in the context of your organization’s unique circumstances, strategic goals, and market dynamics. Avoid blindly applying benchmark figures without considering the specific context of your organization. 
  • Avoid Dividing Across Tables: The population dataset in the 75th percentile compensation are not the as the dataset in the 75th percentile wRVUs. 
  • Consultation: Consider seeking guidance from compensation consultants or legal experts with expertise in healthcare compensation. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations tailored to your organization’s specific needs and challenges. 

By following these best practices and guidelines, your organizations can effectively leverage compensation benchmark data to inform decision-making, ensure competitive compensation practices, and support strategic objectives.