Corporate Compliance

Paying plastic surgeons $900 to be on call

Compliance Monitor, August 5, 2005

Q: Our four plastic surgeons are in one group and have said that they will resign from staff if we require them to cover the ED without paying them for their time. We need plastic surgical coverage and are thinking about paying $900 per shift. Is this an appropriate solution to our problem?

A:To answer this question, first let's examine the definition of urgent care.

It depends on your situation. Paying one specialty tends to create a slippery slope and it is unlikely that your hospital has enough financial reserve to pay all its physicians this much. Also, paying physicians because they threaten to take their patients elsewhere could easily be construed by the OIG as an inducement in exchange for referrals/admissions.

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