Experts warn, however, that productivity incentives can backfire. Hamot Health Foundation, a hospital network in Erie, Pa., that employs 30 primary care physicians, guarantees a base salary of about $100,000 for a workweek of less than 28 hours.

A physician who works at least 28 hours a week gets an additional $9,000 a year, a number that rises to $11,000 for 30 hours and $15,000 for 32 hours. But practice administrators realized they are rewarding the wrong behavior. “We didn’t spread the hours far enough,” said Tim Nelson, assistant vice president for operations. “Most will work 28 hours and decide to live without the additional $6,000 they would receive for working 32 hours.” Today, the practice is developing a new system that will base physician salaries in part on meeting target RVUs.  One caveat: If your group is considering productivity incentives, keep a close eye on the Stark II regulations.