38 percent of providers receive no additional compensation for on-call coverage

New data indicates on-call compensation varies by specialty, group size, region

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., April 1, 2009 — According to Medical Group Management Association's (MGMA's) inaugural Medical Directorship/On-Call Compensation Survey Report, 38 percent of providers do not receive additional compensation for on-call coverage. Almost 30 percent of providers in hospital-owned group practices reported that they do not receive additional compensation for on-call duties, compared with 42 percent of providers in non hospital-owned practices.

"Historically, on-call duties have been sporadically compensated by hospitals. However, we're seeing more hospitals compensating physicians and we're seeing hospitals paying more. Hospitals are realizing they must compensate group-practice physicians for on-call duties," said Jeffrey Milburn, MBA, CMPE, consultant, MGMA Health Care Consulting Group. 
Neurological surgeons reported the highest daily compensation for on-call duties ($2,000), compared with pediatricians ($895) and urologists ($500). Physicians in multispecialty groups reported higher compensation for on-call coverage than their peers in single-specialty groups. This trend also occurs in cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and family practice. Only neurological specialists reported a higher daily rate for on-call compensation in a single-specialty group ($2,850) than in a multispecialty group ($1,450).

Variations emerged regionally in on-call compensation. Neurosurgeons in the eastern region of the United States received almost 71 percent higher compensation for on call duties ($2,850) than peers in the western region ($1,667). General surgeons in the Eastern region received $500 daily for on-call services, while their peers in the Midwest earned $1,000 daily. Physicians in nonsurgical specialties earned more than double the daily compensation for on-call coverage in the western region ($1,080) than the rate reported for the southern region ($500).
MGMA's Medical Directorship/On-Call Compensation Survey Report contains the most comprehensive data in the industry. This marks the first time that MGMA has released survey data on medical directorships and on-call compensation. The surveys were created  to respond to the changing health care environment. MGMA identified one such trend as the increased use and need for medical directorships in hospitals, and hospitals paying physicians to provide emergency department call coverage.

David Taylor, FACMPE, FACHE, a member of the MGMA Survey Advisory Committee, said, "A number of factors drive these trends. As a result, we believe there will be a growing demand from physician groups, hospitals and health systems for the data in this survey report."

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.
To request a copy of the report, please contact MGMA Public Relations at press@mgma.com.

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 22,500 members lead 13,700 organizations nationwide in which some 275,000 physicians provide more than 40 percent of the health care 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 health care 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. Please visit mgma.com.

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