Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Physician Professional Advisory Committee

Compensation Subcommittee


LCDR Astle Lee (


LCDR Adetinuke (Mary) Boyd (



Final Navy FY17 Pay Plan (2Dec16)

FY16 MC-DC Special Pay Implementation Guidance Final Draft (20May15)

Medical Special Pay Rates 2008 (PPM08-014)

Medical Special Pay Rates 2009 (PPM09-004)

Pay & Bonuses - Master

USPHS pay worksheet

Notes on DoD Consolidated Special Pays


Notes on DoD Consolidated Special Pays (CSP)

Disclaimer: The following notes are the personal observations of a single individual and in no way represent official policy.  Your interpretation and the interpretation of the Department of Defense may differ.

Accession Bonus (AB)

  1. Definition: Bonus paid upon accession.
  2. Eligibility:
    1. Qualify to serve in the Medical Corps and do not have any service obligation.
  3. While under service obligation for AB an individual can receive Incentive Pay (IP) but cannot receive a Retention Bonus (RB).
  4. Paid annually.

Incentive Pay (IP)

  1. Definition: A pay authorized to a health professions officer serving on active duty in a designated health profession specialty for a healthcare related skill.
  2. Eligibility:
    1. Serving in the Medical specialty for which the IP is being paid.
    2. Executes a written agreement. Don’t have to resubmit unless there is a change.
    3. Minimum commitment of one year.
    4. Hold unrestricted license.
  3. Paid monthly.
  4. Change from Legacy Special Pays:
    1. Replaces Incentive Special Pay (ISP), Additional Special Pay (ASP) and Variable Special Pay (VSP).
      1. Equivalent of ASP in USPHS Commissioned Corp is Retention Special Pay (RSP).
    2. Single amount based on specialty.
      1. ISP amount was based on specialty.
      2. ASP was a single amount, $15,000.
  • VSP increased and then decreased with time in service.
  1. Paid monthly.

Retention Bonus (RB)

  1. Definition: A bonus paid to obligate an officer for a specified period of time.
  2. Equivalent in USPHS Commissioned Corp: Multiyear Retention Bonus (MRB).
  3. Eligible if:
    1. Below grade of O-7.
    2. Completed any active duty service obligation/commitment
    3. Completed specialty qualification for which the RB is being paid, execute a written agreement, have unrestricted license.
    4. Currently credentialed, privileged, and practicing in the Medical Specialty for which the RB is being paid.
  4. Can request to end an MSP contract early and enter into a new RB of equal or greater length.
  5. Paid annually.
  6. Change from Legacy Special Pays:
    1. Changed name from Multiyear Special Pay (MSP)

Board Certified Pay (BCP)

  1. Definition: A pay authorized to health professions officer who earns board certification by an approved certifying agency.
  2. Eligibility:
    1. Certified by a recognized board in the clinical specialty.
    2. Hold unrestricted license
    3. Execute written agreement
  3. Paid monthly.
  4. Change from Legacy Special Pays:
    1. Amount used to increase with time in service, now at constant $6,000 (the old maximum).

Summary:  Consolidated Special Pays combined ISP, ASP (Commissioned Corps’ RSP) and VSP into a single entity, Incentive Pay (IP) which is paid monthly and varies by medical specialty.  Previously VSP increased with time in service.  Board Certified Pay changed from varying with time in service to a flat rate set at the highest previous rate.  Previously the changes in VSP and BCP with increasing time in service offset each other; they are now both flat rate.


Potential Re-instatement of Clinical hours

Policy change in 2008 resulted in suspended requirement for clinical hours. As a result, officers serving in non-clinical billets may indicate N/A on special pay recertification sheets.

However, in the course of discussion of aligning with DoD pays, it came to light that there is language in special pays of military services that discusses clinical hours. Recognizing that it is not a trivial matter for physicians who have not engaged in clinical practice for several years to start practicing again, the following discussions are continuing (see attached Feedback from PPAC Regarding Potential Reinstatement of Clinical Practice Requirements for more details):

Potentially a clause will be inserted in special pay contracts – if officers are assigned to a public health institute in which they are using their medical specialty in the course of their work – wouldn’t need to practice clinical medicine (for example, preventive medicine specialists and public health dentistry)

Many questions remain to be answered. E.g., Would clinical hours requirement be put into effect mid-contract or would it be implemented when a contract is renewed? If the policy changes mid-contract, will you be able to serve out the rest of your contract without performing clinical duties or will it be implemented immediately?

Currently, no conclusions have been made. Compensation SC will update the PPAC periodically.

We would appreciate any information about specific implications for potential reinstatement of clinical requirements for medical officers in various specialties that you can provide. At this time we are especially interested in information specific to Internal Medicine or Family Practice. Please send information to SC Co-chairs Mary Boyd or Lee Astle 

Page Last Modified on 5/5/2017

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