The Daily Stipends of On-Call Physicians

The most common form of compensation for on-call physicians is a daily stipend, and pay varies depending on specialty, location and group type.

The most common form of compensation for on-call physicians is a daily stipend, according to a new survey by the Medical Group Management Association.

Almost 30% of physicians reported a daily stipend was how they were compensated for on-call coverage. And just like overall compensation the stipends can vary greatly not just among specialties but also among practice locations and medical group types.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

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Copyright MGMA’s “Medical Directorship and On-Call Compensation Survey: 2012 Report Based on 2011 Data.”

MGMA reported that physicians in the Western region earned the highest on-call compensation at a median daily rate of $1,000, followed by the Eastern region with $920, the Southern region with $854 and the Midwest region with $500.

Noninvasive cardiologists earned $650 in median compensation per day of on-call coverage. Physicians in internal medicine reported median daily stipend of $1,000. Anesthesiologists reported $1,500, and physicians in family medicine (without OB) earned a $100 per day on-call.

Physicians in single-specialty practices earned more than their counterparts in multispecialty practices. The median on-call compensation for neurological surgeons in single-specialty practices $800 more per day than those in multispecialty practices. Invasive-interventional cardiologists reported earning 30% more in single-specialty practices than in multispecialty practices.

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