November 15, 2023

SullivanCotter Reports Median Total Cash Compensation for APPs Rose 16% Over Last Five Years, Growing Faster than Physician and Nursing Pay

November 15, 2023 – CHICAGO – SullivanCotter, the nation’s leading independent consulting firm in the assessment and development of total rewards programs, workforce solutions, and data products for health care and nonprofits, has released its 2023 Advanced Practice Provider Compensation and Productivity Survey report.

The 2023 report revealed that APP compensation has continued to grow across all specialties. While 2022 saw higher-than-normal growth in primary care and hospital-based specialties, the 2023 results show larger increases for primary care, medical and surgical specialties (each at 5%) and modest growth for hospital-based specialties (2.5%) for both base and total cash compensation (TCC).

Although this year’s increases are more in line with historical APP compensation increases, the 3-year trends reflect a continuing market demand for these clinicians. Median TCC for nurse practitioners and physician assistants rose 13.0% for primary care, 10.2% for medical, 9.4% for surgical, and 10.9% for hospital-based specialties from 2020-2023.

Consistent with the past several years, the demand for anesthesiology providers remains high, which continues to put upward pressure on compensation. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) saw a 9.6% increase in median TCC in 2023. In looking at the 3-year trends for CRNAs, median TCC rose 15.6% from 2020-2023, and median hourly rates increased from $89.62 in 2020 to $102.91 in 2023.

“The anesthesiology care team continues to see unprecedented changes as the shortage of physicians and CRNAs grows, yet the need for their services continues to increase at an unprecedented pace. As competition for CRNA talent increases, we are seeing organizations adjust CRNA compensation packages such as including sign-on and retention bonuses, student loan repayments, and adjustments to work effort expectations, roles and responsibilities. They are also looking at increasing salaries to stay competitive,” said Zachary Hartsell, APP Practice Leader, SullivanCotter.

In addition to steady pay increases, the 2023 survey indicated that APP compensation is evolving, often including the introduction and refinement of incentive compensation models, particularly in primary care. The 2023 survey reported that 48.1% of organizations utilize incentive pay for at least some of their APPs, with 75.9% of these organizations structuring incentives as add-on dollars. APP compensation models are also becoming more consistent within systems, which will help minimize internal turnover for these clinicians.

APP compensation programs continue to evolve to include an increased focus on work effort, schedule burden, and premium pay to minimize burnout while meeting coverage needs. Similarly, organizations are taking a closer look at how APPs practice within a team-based care model. “While state practice acts can drive APP scope of practice, hospital bylaws often impose additional restrictions. Ideally, pay practices are structured to support optimal use of all members of the care team,” said Hartsell.

There is increased pressure to remain market competitive with pay, resulting in annual (or more frequent) market reviews, narrower ranges and quicker time-to-range median and max.

“In addition to compensation, organizations should evaluate care delivery models and how APPs are utilized as this can be a significant driver of turnover, regardless of compensation level. Adding APP leadership roles can help organizations ensure APPs have the appropriate scope of practice and improve APP recruitment and retention,” said Hartsell.

SullivanCotter’s 2023 Advanced Practice Provider Compensation and Productivity Survey provides critical benchmarking data on compensation levels and pay practices. As one of the most comprehensive resources of its kind for hospitals and health systems nationwide, the survey includes information from 816 organizations representing more than 124,000 individual APPs and over 3,400 APP leaders.

About SullivanCotter

SullivanCotter partners with health care and other not-for-profit organizations to understand what drives performance and improves outcomes through the development and implementation of integrated workforce strategies. Using our time-tested methodologies and industry-leading research and information, we provide data-driven insights, expertise, and data products to help organizations align business strategy and performance objectives – enabling our clients to deliver on their mission, vision, and values.

For more information on SullivanCotter’s surveys, please visit our website at, or contact us via email or by phone at 888.739.7039.

Note to media: Additional data and interviews are available on request.

Read on Business Wire
Share This: