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Industry Trends of Physician Staffing Companies’ After-Hours On-Call Services

BFMV’s Cost of Physician Staffing Services, 2024 (“CPSS”) includes data sourced from government contracts with 99 physician staffing companies located across the country. These companies supply government healthcare providers, such as VA hospitals or clinics, with the medical personnel necessary to fill temporary physician vacancies. The companies included in the CPSS also provide these services to non-government clients.

When a physician staffing firm becomes a government contractor, it certifies the maximum hourly rate to be charged to the government for temporary staffing services. Hourly rates are fully loaded to include direct labor costs, fringe benefits, overhead, profit, taxes, and malpractice insurance. The rates are the same across all geographic locations served by the contractor. These contracts may also identify pricing for overtime, shift differentials, weekday or weekend on-call fees, and holiday rates. In most situations, pricing does not include any travel or lodging expenses incurred by a physician. Price lists also identify whether a physician staffing firm has a minimum order size requirement. It is common for a company to require that at least 8 hours of staffing services be purchased.

 

The after-hours call coverage services provided by most physician staffing firms are only available when on-site services have also been purchased. Companies included in the CPSS study set prices for after-hours on-call services in several different ways. For example, some charge a specified hourly rate for every hour a temporary physician is on call, while others may charge one rate for the entire call coverage shift. For benchmarking purposes, the CPSS study translates all on-call payment methodologies into hourly rates.

 

The on-call rate generally covers phone availability, phone consultations, and the ability to return to work within 30 minutes (when necessary). If a temporary physician is asked to return to the facility while on-call, a staffing company will generally require the regular on-site hourly payment while the physician provides on-site services. About half of the companies charge a minimum fee equal to one hour at the regular on-site hourly rate if the physician returns to the facility.

 

The 2024 average after-hours on-call rate across all physician specialties is $18 per hour. This rate is applied after hours between the regular on-site shifts  — typically 15-16 hours.


The CPSS Report is available here for immediate download ($150 purchase). For more information, contact us.

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