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 of rural locales and health care in the Midwest.

Compounding these challenges is the scarcity of provider compensation market data in the rural setting. This gap can lead to lower recruitment yields and retention issues For these reasons, Faegre Drinker developed this 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 over the past few yearsBased on the results of this year’s survey, the COVID-19 pandemic seemingly had an outsized impact on Midwest rural hospitals in 2020 as compared to large health care systems reported in national surveys.

The 2021 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 in 2020 for 13 different specialties, including family medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery and orthopedic surgery 

  • Advanced practice provider compensation and productivity in 2020 for 11 different APP types, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified registered nurse anesthetists

  • Comparisons of median compensation and productivity in 2020 vs. 2019

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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