Corporate Compliance

Tip: How to obtain on-call physicians

Compliance Monitor, January 14, 2009

The most common solution to obtain physicians for on-call coverage is to provide a stipend or hourly rate. A Sullivan Cotter survey shows that 90% of organizations pay employed physicians and 97% pay nonemployed physicians.
Other options include:
  • Providing payments for excess call (typically more than 3–5 shifts per month)
  • Paying the physician’s malpractice insurance
  • Contracting with an entire physician group to provide call coverage
  • Using locum tenens agencies
  • Technology-driven call, in which the physician calls in remotely to review imaging scans and on-site reports and direct the on-site physician via live video/audio.

If you plan to use the most common model, an hourly rate or stipend, it is important to understand government guidelines for determining fair-market value on-call payments.

This tip is an excerpt from an article written by Jen Johnson, CFA, in the January 2009 issue of the HCPro monthly newsletter Healthcare Auditing Strategies titled “Create a compliant on-call payment model.” For more information about this newsletter, visit the HCMarketplace.


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