Physicians’ on-call system may have to go through changes or die

From Columbus (OH) Business First, via Symtym:

The Ohio Hospital Association says shrinking reimbursements from insurers, Medicare and Medicaid, increasing malpractice insurance premiums and other factors are combining to discourage physicians from taking on-call assignments.

Physicians serving on-call at hospitals generally don’t earn income unless they are actually called into service and the patient or their insurance carrier pays.

An ever-growing number of patients without health insurance showing up in emergency rooms, as well, means physicians treating those patients most likely will not be paid.

Consequently, physicians are increasingly either declining to serve on call at hospitals or attempting to find compensation for being on call, a service traditionally rendered as a courtesy to hospitals at which they hold privileges.

As a result, some in the health-care industry fear that patients will soon face sharp increases in already skyrocketing costs for care – or may end up with limited access to critical specialist care in emergency rooms around the country.

“Doctors are saying, ‘if I spend 12 or 24 hours on call, I’d like a certain amount of money because that’s impinging on other things – my life, my ability to generate other revenues in practice,’ ” says Reed Fraley, senior vice president of the Ohio Hospitals Association.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: