MGMA: 43.4% of primary care provider survey respondents receive additional compensation for on-call coverage

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., April 28, 2010 – More than 43 percent of primary care providers received some form of additional compensation for on-call coverage, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Medical Directorship and On-Call Compensation Survey: 2010 Report Based on 2009 Data. Almost half (49.43 percent) of nonsurgical specialists in the MGMA survey reported no additional compensation for on-call coverage, and 72.46 percent of surgery specialists received additional compensation for their on-call services. Most MGMA survey respondents received additional compensation in the form of a daily or annual stipend.

The daily rate of on-call physician compensation varied greatly among specialties. Family practitioners with and without OB/GYN earned $110 and $100, respectively, per day and neurological surgeons earned $1,671 daily. Ophthalmologists earned $500 in additional compensation per day while general surgeons earned $905 and urologists earned $283. On-call compensation rates differed on holidays and weekends. The holiday rate for general surgeons was $3,000, and family practitioners received $588 per day.

"For many privately owned physician practices, the trend toward payment for on-call coverage is a positive one. Hospitals are faced with staff issues regarding who should receive pay and why, and are frequently called upon to develop justifiable rationale to support their decisions," said Kenneth T. Hertz, CMPE, principal, MGMA Health Care Consulting Group. "At the same time, as the trend toward physician employment within integrated systems increases, the separate on-call payment disappears from the formula and instead, is integrated in the overall compensation package."

On-call providers reported 971 hours worked per year for their annual stipend, 720 hours worked per month for their monthly stipend and 20 hours worked per week for their weekly stipend. Those who were paid on a daily rate were expected to be on call for a full 24 hours.

MGMA’s Medical Directorship and On-Call Compensation Survey: 2010 Report Based on 2009 Data includes demographics for physicians receiving and not receiving additional on-call compensation, time spent on directorship duties as well as annualized medical directorship compensation by group and individual characteristics. Readers should use the survey to determine the medical directorship and on-call compensation strategy that best fits their organization. 

Note: MGMA surveys depend on voluntary participation and may not be representative of the industry. Readers are urged to review the entire survey report when making conclusions regarding trends or other observations.

If you are a media member and wish to receive an editorial copy of the survey, please contact Liz Boten at lboten@mgma.com. Click here  to purchase a copy of the report.

About MGMA

MGMA is the premier membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices. Since 1926, MGMA has delivered networking, professional education and resources, and political advocacy for medical practice management. Today, MGMA's 21,500 members lead 13,700 organizations nationwide in which some 275,000 physicians provide more than 40 percent of the healthcare services delivered in the United States.

MGMA's mission is to continually improve the performance of medical group practice professionals and the organizations they represent. MGMA promotes the group practice model as the optimal framework for healthcare delivery, assisting group practices in providing efficient, safe, patient-focused and affordable care. MGMA is headquartered in Englewood, Colo., and maintains a government affairs office in Washington, D.C. Follow our Twitter list to find out which medical practices are using social media.

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