The Results of Our 2021 Benefits Survey - Southern Medical Association

April 13, 2021

The Results of Our 2021 Benefits Survey

We’re always asking our family of medicine to pick up the phone and bend our ears a little. We want to know what you think; what you want to see more of; what you need

A few weeks ago, we decided to get a little more specific. To better understand your priorities when it comes to running a medical practice, we sent out a survey — and we’re happy to report that we received a great response. You didn’t just limit yourselves to the multiple choice answers we provided; many of you took the time to write in thoughtful replies that elaborated on why you answered the way you did.

Here’s what we learned about:


More than two thirds of you would be willing to fill out medically underwritten health insurance applications if it would translate to substantial savings for your practice — provided that those cost containment features don’t sacrifice coverage. And over three fourths of you expressed interest in learning about plans that create those savings in the following ways: 

  • During good claims years, rewarding your practice by returning a portion of your premiums.
  • Creating a network of physicians and practices who would receive financial incentives by steering their members to each other for care.
  • Using predictive modeling to offset chronic condition claims, and medical management to help those with chronic ailments.


When purchasing medical malpractice insurance, pricing and coverage were by far your most important considerations — even more than the carrier or agent. When it came to evaluating risk factors that influenced your medmal purchasing decisions, attorney choice, carrier rating, and tail options were commonly shared priorities. 

Our respondents seemed evenly split when asked whether medmal insurance was a one-time purchase for their practices, and then a budget item moving forward, or whether it received an annual evaluation for its coverage and competitiveness. And while many of you use about two to three vendors for your various P&C insurance needs, a great many of you also seemed open to the idea of using a single vendor with one point of contact (with all other criteria being equal).


For the vast majority of respondents, the idea of retirement planning was almost synonymous with 401(k) plans, more so than investment assistance or legislative updates. If you said you didn’t fully understand the advisor, mutual fund, record keeping, and TPA fees within your plan: thank you for your candor... and rest assured that you’re not alone. More than half of respondents admitted that they didn’t fully understand those fees either. 

About two thirds of you expressed some interest in integrating your retirement plan with payroll to avoid submission of contributions, while nearly three fourths said that physicians and other highly compensated employees within your practices were able to maximize their contributions. And we were happy to hear that almost 40% of your advisors have annual educational meetings with your practice’s employees. 

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. When we say we want to hear from you, we mean it. It really does make a difference in what we prioritize going forward. The more you can tell us about what you need, the better we’re able to do what we do — for everyone.

Posted in: BusinessCareer DevelopmentMalpractice and LegalRetirement