Coverage Spending by Facility Size
When it comes to physician contracting expenses at hospitals and health systems, call coverage contracts often make up a significant percent of the total spending. As common sense would suggest, larger facilities pay more for call coverage than smaller facilities.
The smallest facilities (fewer than 50 beds and typically critical access hospitals) pay significantly less than all other sizes of hospital. The largest hospitals (more than 450 beds) pay significantly more than other facilities for call coverage, since these facilities will typically have more emeregency department service lines to cover.
Interestingly, the spending trend of increased bed count correlating to increased call coverage spending is most fluid with midsize hospitals, those facilities with around 100 to 200 beds. One possible reason the trend doesn't follow a completely linear path in this instance may be due to the perception that being close to the 100 or 200 bed mark means contract negotiators round to the nearest hundred beds when considering rates to pay. This rounding adjustment may overshoot what is actually necessary to compensate physicians for the true number of beds needing coverage.