The Call Pay Crisis: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
In 2005, Dr. Tom Oliver was serving as president of medical staff at Winchester Medical Center in Virginia. On the most memorable day of his tenure, a surgical specialty made an announcement. After a certain date, they would no longer be taking call without compensation. At the time, the hospital’s CEO had stated that he would categorically refuse to pay for call. Just like that, the hospital was on the brink of a crisis and in danger of losing a service line in the emergency department.
MaxWorth was able to help the administration and medical staff at Winchester arrive at an appropriate solution for their hospital, but it certainly could have gone the other way. We believe it is imperative for healthcare organizations to take preventative measures and make sure they are never faced with a similar ultimatum that could threaten their viability. Prevention will greatly increase the possibility of a positive outcome.
When crisis is inevitable, the alternative to prevention is reaction. The typical reaction to a call pay crisis is to enter into single-specialty negotiations, which result in cash stipends. These arrangements place the hospital in a dangerous position. They are often perceived as unfair and secretive, which divides the medical staff and further agitates the issue of call pay. They also create more questions than they answer—Which specialties should be compensated? How much should they be paid? How should they be paid? How will those not being paid react?—and the hospital cannot provide answers.
When our clients announce that a nationally recognized call compensation design firm has been retained, it sends a positive message to all stakeholders that leadership is moving forward in a systematic way to create a comprehensive solution that is fair and defensible.
At the conclusion of our process, every member of the medical staff will understand how and why the specialties were selected to be included in the call pay program and how the per diems were determined. This establishes a sense of fairness, transparency, and inclusion that is simply not possible when going about it in the typical way. In other words, we help hospitals avoid the coming crisis so they never have to react to one.
Click here to listen to an interview with Dr. Tom Oliver about his experience.
REQUEST OUR WHITE PAPER
Complete the form below and receive a copy of our latest whitepaper
IS YOUR ON-CALL COMPENSATION PROGRAM SUSTAINABLE? LEARN MORE CONTACT US LEARN MORE CONTACT US The Call Pay Solution® On-call compensation issues involve two divergent perspectives: the medical staff’s and the hospital administration’s. Physicians perceive a justifiable need to be compensated fairly for the services they provide. Administrations face the challenge of staffing their emergency departments with specialists who provide emergency medical services to the community while fulfilling EMTALA requirements. It’s important to find an…
Podcast: Interview with Dr. Tom Oliver By: Kyle Worthy Episode Description During his time as president of the medical staff at Winchester Medical Center, Dr. Tom Oliver helped his organization successfully navigate a variety of challenges. But none would test his leadership skills more than an on-call compensation crisis. In this episode we talk with…
DO YOUR CALL PAY ARRANGEMENTS CREATE MORE DIVISION THAN ALIGNMENT? LEARN MORE CONTACT US LEARN MORE CONTACT US The Physicians’ Call Committee™ Call pay decisions are often made behind closed doors creating a lack of transparency that leads to division among medical staff and increases distrust of administration. The perception of disparity between the “haves and have-nots” begins with how contracts are negotiated. Without a fair and transparent process trust is compromised, making the…