Report shows variation in on-call compensation for physicians

Research from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) reveals that a daily stipend in the most common form of on-call compensation for physicians. Almost 30 percent of physicians included in MGMA's Medical Directorship and On-Call Compensation Survey reported receiving a daily stipend for days on call.

Survey results, released June 4, show that on-call coverage rates vary by group type and practice location. The survey report contains data on 3,864 on-call providers in 308 medical organizations.

MGMA reported that noninvasive cardiologists earned $650 in median compensation per day of on-call coverage. Physicians in internal medicine reported a median daily stipend of $1,000. Anesthesiologists reported $1,500 and physicians in family medicine (excluding obstetrics) earned a $100 for days on-call.

"On-call pay continues to be a material and growing investment for many hospitals and health systems," said Steven Strode, MS, national survey advisory committee member, MGMA-ACMPE. "Payment levels vary due to a multitude of factors, including but not limited to, type of call, frequency of contact, supply of providers and the individual market profile. Access to benchmark information is crucial to support a fair and fact-based setting of call rates."

Medical group type may also affect physicians' on-call compensation. Neurological surgeons in single-specialty practices reported receiving $800 more per day in median on-call compensation than their counterparts in multispecialty practices. Invasive-interventional cardiologists reported earning 30 percent more in single-specialty practices than in multispecialty practices. Anesthesiologists in multispecialty practices reported $760 more in median on-call compensation per day than those in single-specialty practices.

Physician compensation for on-call coverage was also impacted by practice location, MGMA said in a survey summary. General surgeons reported a median daily on-call compensation rate of $920 in the Eastern region, $500 in the Midwest, $854 in the Southern region, and $1,000 in the Western region. Neurological surgeons earned between $1,600 and $1,830, depending upon the region in which their practice was located.

Click here for information on how to order the full report. New to this year's version of the annual report are summary tables of on-call compensation per wRVU and on-call compensation per shift, according to MGMA.

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