Rural Health

Midwest Rural Hospital Provider Compensation Survey

Midwest rural hospitals operate with limited resources, and in recent years new challenges have emerged. Patients continue to migrate from inpatient to outpatient settings and reimbursement increasingly favors risk-based payment models, neither of which rural hospitals are typically positioned to long endure.

At the same time, rural hospitals struggle to attract and retain providers due to the perceptions – and realities – of rural locales and health care in the Midwest. Compounding this issue is the scarcity of provider compensation market data in the rural setting. This gap can lead to lower recruitment yields, retention issues, and inaccuracies in fair market value and commercial reasonability analysis.

For these reasons, Faegre Drinker produced a new market survey for provider compensation in rural hospitals in the upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa), which has produced some intriguing results. As most would expect, Midwest rural hospitals pay providers 10% to 15% more at the median than large medical groups reported in national surveys.

However, what is truly eye-opening is the difference in productivity in Midwest rural hospitals compared with data reported in national surveys for the same specialties.

The survey provides data on the following:

  • Provider retention, including turnover percentage and days-to-fill physician and advance practice provider (APP) positions
  • Provider benefits, including FTEs for full-time benefits, health insurance premium employer coverage, retirement match, CME reimbursement and PTO days
  • Physician compensation and productivity for 11 different specialties, including family medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery and orthopedic surgery
  • Advance practice provider compensation and productivity for 8 different APP types, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified registered nurse anesthetists
  • Comparisons with national survey data of compensation and productivity at the median
To purchase a copy the survey, please click on the link below. If you have questions about the survey, or if you would like to request additional analysis of the survey results, please contact Aaron Dobosenski at
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