Paying for Call Coverage, What You Should Know

Not long ago, hospitals could rely on physicians to provide call coverage in their emergency departments (EDs) without the expectation of being paid for it. But times have changed. Physicians are increasingly demanding that hospitals pay them to provide such coverage.

The reasons physicians have become less willing to provide uncompensated call coverage are many. They include:

  • Reluctance to go without pay for uninsured patients
  • Fear of malpractice lawsuits
  • Disruption of personal lives
  • A declining physicians supply, with fewer physicians working for hospitals

In addition, the physician workforce is aging, and many medical staff bylaws allow older physicians to opt out of on-call duty.

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