MaxWorth’s longest running call pay program is better than ever

MaxWorth’s longest running call pay program is better than ever

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More than fifteen years ago, Winchester Medical Center became MaxWorth’s first healthcare client when we helped them solve a call pay conflict that was threatening their ability to staff their emergency department. Today, the hospital’s call pay program is just as valuable to the organization as it was the day it was established. It continues to contain costs, build trust between staff members and administration, and transform call pay into a more meaningful reward for their physicians.


The secret to long-term success


We believe the secret to the long-term success of Winchester’s program lies in their commitment to its ongoing maintenance. 


For five years after the program’s establishment, their call committee continued to meet every month. “It took a lot of attention with both administration and physician leadership making sure the plan worked the way we wanted it to,” says Dr. Tom Oliver, who was president of the medical staff when the program was initiated and played a critical role in its development. “The documents we laid out in the beginning were good but obviously not perfect, and we tweaked documents as we went along. We changed some of our preconceived notions of how things should work. And that’s just the evolution of any program.”


Continuing to meet a changing set of needs


Healthcare is constantly changing, and so are the needs of every emergency department. That’s why modifying a call pay plan isn’t only a good idea, it’s crucial to its functionality. 


Dr. Oliver says, “We changed our policy to reflect changes in how things were done and reflect changes in the culture within our hospital and how health care is provided in our hospital and in our emergency room. So it took and continues to take involvement by physician leaders and administration to modify the plan and adapt it at intervals as needed to reflect current needs.”


Winchester’s call committee no longer meets every month, but it still convenes at least once a year to keep the plan effective.


More inclusion over time


One of the benefits of our program is that it utilizes a cost-recovery feature that allows a hospital to recoup some of its call pay expense over time. Cost containment often leads to broader inclusion without placing a strain on the budget. 


“Our plan is now much more inclusive than it was before,” Dr. Oliver says. “Part of the reason for that is that the hospital is now using the deferred comp for call plan as an alternative to the myriad of little side deals they had, medical directorships and stipends that went to a variety of specialties to keep physicians involved in the hospital.”


The importance of longevity


The longer our program is in place at a hospital, the more it can support the organization’s goals in the areas of cost-containment, physician recruitment, and physician retention. And as for physicians, a long-standing program represents consistent and reliable support of their financial wellness.


“The compensation that they’ve received from call I think has been significant,” Dr. Oliver says. “And some physicians who’ve had heavy call burdens in well-compensated specialties have received very large checks from time to time. I think that’s made meaningful differences in their life activities and meaningful differences in their life planning.”



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