Benchmarking Call Coverage for a Better Bottom Line

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media , July 18, 2011
  1. "Then you can go beyond the 75th and up to the 90th with 'special consideration'. But you have to be able to document unusual circumstances, such as a shortage of physicians in the area or particularly burdensome call coverage with only a few physicians [participating]," she explains.

    Even with this documentation, however, Stroud cautions that if a hospital or health system needs to go above the 90th percentile, "It's safer to get an outside opinion."

  2. Watch Stark and FMV Restrictions: "You always have to consider fair market value and Stark," Stroud says. As part of watching how much you are compensating physicians for their call coverage you should review the Stark and FMV regulations.
  1. Routinely Benchmark. Stroud says healthcare financial leaders should conduct frequent benchmarks. "They should be doing a benchmark every time they sign a contract [with a physician]," she notes. "It will offer them a guidepost … and it can help them manage the expectations of the physician."

Without question, call coverage compensation is tricky. Ensuring that participating in this vital service is in your physician contracts and paying fair (yet non-exorbitant) wages is are two ways to make this usual financial migraine more of a dull headache.  

Karen Minich-Pourshadi is a Senior Editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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