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5 Insights from BFMV’s 2023 Physician Call Coverage Burden & Compensation Survey

Every year, BFMV conducts a national direct-to-physician call coverage survey. This project offers valuable insights that inform our fair market value appraisals. We also believe it helps responding physicians, who receive a free copy of the Report, in their contract negotiations.

The direct-to-physician feature of our call survey differentiates it from others. In its inception, we wanted a survey that helped us better understand the off-site/unrestricted call coverage "burden." We also hoped to capture the impact of unrestricted call coverage on physician compensation. Therefore, we chose to contact physicians directly for data since physicians know the burden-related factors (phone calls received, in-person activations, etc.) of their call arrangements.

The following is an illustrative list of five valuable insights from the 2023 survey:

1. Specialists and surgeons are more likely to be paid a call stipend than other physicians.

The survey supports the conventional wisdom that specialists and surgeons are more likely to receive a call stipend for off-site call coverage than other physicians. The highest percentages of respondents receiving a stipend were in specialties like neurosurgery (89.5% of respondents reporting stipends) compared to family practice (25.9% of respondents reporting stipends).

2. A stipend often comes with a more significant burden.

In many specialties, a call stipend comes with a more significant burden. For example, the survey shows that the median in-person response rate for general surgeons is 2.0 in-person visits per shift as opposed to 1.0 in-person visits per shift for general surgeons who do not receive a stipend.

3. More than 80% of specialties reported a weekend or holiday coverage differential.

The size of the differential varied significantly, with special shift premiums ranging from 8% to 86%. Across all specialties reporting a premium shift rate, the average increase was 76% over the regular call daily rate.

4. Physicians earning a call stipend often provide uncompensated call coverage.

Among those physicians with compensated call arrangements, an average of 21.6% provided uncompensated coverage in addition to their paid shifts. These physicians provide an average of 5.7 uncompensated call days per month.

5. The majority of respondents cover more than one facility.

About 60% of responding physicians provide call coverage to multiple facilities. This statistic hasn’t changed much since we launched the survey four years ago.

For more information, please visit our Surveys page. Contact us for assistance with fair market value opinions and consultations. The 2023 Report is available in our shop.


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