Overall Trauma Centers Spend More on Physician Compensation

In addition to looking at physician contract benchmarks for call coverage, medical direction, and hospital-based agreements, MD Ranger examines aggregate spending on physician contracts at the facility level. These benchmarks are calculated by summing estimated values for all reported coverage, direction, and hospital-based contracts. Taking each facility as a single data point, a distribution of facility total spending is formed and the percentile values are reported. Analysis of what a hospital spends across all its contracted physician agreements can help administrators get a holistic view of their organization’s finances and can help spot potential compliance risks that may not be evident at the individual contract level.

Using MD Ranger’s 2017 Total Facility Benchmarks, let’s investigate what effect trauma center status, a major accreditation that many hospitals have achieved or are looking to pursue, has on a hospital’s total facility spending.

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At the total facility spending level, trauma centers pay more than twice as much as their non-trauma counterparts. This differential is consistent across all percentiles.

The benchmarks demonstrate the steep differences of physician payments between trauma and non-trauma hospitals. On a contract-by-contract basis these differences can be observed in the MD Ranger service-level benchmarks as well. Based on annual analysis of MD Ranger’s 2017 database, trauma centers pay on average 38% more for call coverage agreements, up from 32% more last year.

However, these payment differences don’t fully account for higher facility payments because trauma centers are required to have more positions covered in the emergency department and usually have more medical directorships -- thus explaining the larger differences in facility-wide benchmarks.

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