Call Coverage and Physician Burnout

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A recent survey found that physician burnout is as widespread as ever. 42% of respondents,  who represented 29 different specialties, reported that they had experienced burnout. Office tasks, a lack of respect from administrators, and the reduction in reimbursement rates were cited as contributing factors to this problem. 50% of the physicians surveyed even stated that they would take a reduction in compensation in exchange for a better work-life balance. So why is on-call compensation, and other compensation elements like it, still on the rise? 

 

The heart of the issue

 

At the heart of this issue lies the tension between EMTALA requirements and the current physician shortage. There are simply fewer physicians sharing the workload, and hospitals are struggling to fill in the gaps in their ED call coverage. The increased burden on physicians has led to an increase in demands to be paid for call. 

 

It’s not just about the money

 

It’s important to remember that these demands aren’t just about money. Having overseen countless Physicians’ Call Committee meetings, we’ve noticed that every conversation about call turns into a conversation about lifestyle and practice interruption. As the survey suggests, physicians are dealing with more complexity at their own practices than ever before, and they’re being pulled away with increasing frequency. And it’s no secret that call takes a toll on their family lives as well. As a result, call coverage is often the tipping point when it comes to physician burnout. 

 

Making call more worthwhile

 

There are a number of ways a hospital can turn this around. While it might be impossible to ease the burden of call coverage given the current physician shortage, it is possible to make call coverage more worthwhile, and to make sure physicians feel appreciated for their service to their community. MaxWorth’s Call Pay Solution is designed to bring value to both physicians and administrations through an innovative call compensation program. To learn more about the Call Pay Solution, download our white paper.

 

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