Published by Compliance Today
Adequate on-call emergency coverage is a real issue for hospital emergency departments and inpatients who require urgent specialist consultation. Sullivan Cotter and Associates’ 2008 Physician On-Call Pay Survey Report1 states that 85% of survey respondents have experienced difficulty finding physicians to provide on-call coverage. The problem has been severe enough, in some instances, that 16% of respondents reported the discontinuation of service lines due to lack of on-call coverage. Sullivan Cotter’s survey provides several statistics which support the trend in providing payments for on-call coverage:
With physician compensation activity such as this, it is no surprise the Office of Inspector General (OIG) has brought on-call coverage payments to the spotlight by issuing its first advisory opinion related to on-call coverage last Fall. The following discusses the reasons for the growth of on-call coverage payments, compensation options, and what organizations should consider when determining if their arrangement meets the Fair Market Value (FMV) requirements.