Call Coverage Payments: Trends, Regulations, Statistics and Valuation Considerations

Published by Becker’s ASC Review

Establishing FMV for call coverage compensation is becoming increasingly difficult as arrangements are evolving and survey data is unreliable. The following will discuss recent trends in paying for call coverage, market statistics and the valuation considerations surrounding certain payment structures.

Growing expenses, industry trends driving call coverage payment growth

In the past, ED call coverage was typically provided by physicians in exchange for admitting privileges. Now, more physicians are demanding payments for call coverage due to:

  • Rising costs associated with covering the ED
    • Growth in the uninsured patient population.
    • Fear of malpractice lawsuits.
    • Higher premiums associated with emergency departments.
  • Fundamental industry changes
    • Work-life balance has become more important to today’s physicians.
    • There is a decreasing physician supply.
    • Physicians are less reliant on hospitals to build practice with other options for office-based procedures and outpatient facilities.
    • Physicians are seeking equity with other physicians who are being paid for call coverage.

Although the majority of call coverage arrangements are based on a daily or hourly stipend, payment structures are evolving and are more often including additional payments for the uninsured patient population.

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