Make a Call Coverage Payment Strategy
Organizations that lack policies about when to pay for ED coverage run the risk of making decisions that aren’t always strategic. With the median MD Ranger hospital paying $3.5 million a year for ED call coverage, poor decisions can be costly.
Understanding the “facility profile” is key before developing a call pay strategy. Small hospitals with low ED volumes should have fewer positions that they compensate for call. On the flipside, busy urban trauma centers have high ED volumes where you would anticipate more specialities being compensated to provide coverage.
Though frequency of call is dependent on the services the hospital offers, its market, and other unique factors, there are a handful of specialties that we can assume will be called for coverage again and again. It is important to consider these specialities and determine if it is commercially reasonable to compensate physicians for coverage.
There are also physician specialities that don’t especially have a high volume of calls but are nonetheless typically compensated frequently (and handsomely). These specialties are often higher-paid; ED call stipends usually have to do with the opportunity cost to the physician.