A Post-COVID Alternative to Physician Employment

by Karin Chernoff Kaplan, Director
and Richard Chasinoff, Principal

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Independent physician practices took a financial beating during the first months of COVID-19—and not just due to postponement of elective procedures. Today, consumers remain fearful of returning to a physician office environment, with office visits down 20 to 30 percent compared with pre-COVID levels. Now, many of these practices are coming to hospitals to make […]

4 Reasons to Reevaluate Your Physician Compensation Plan

by Karin Chernoff Kaplan, Director

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As hospitals and health systems navigate a tumultuous economic environment following the COVID-19 outbreak, the need for standardized, value-based physician compensation plans has intensified. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the median operating loss per health system-employed physician continues to be staggering. Many factors contribute to financial losses on employed physicians – costs related to physician […]

COVID-19 and Physician Compensation:
Part 2 – How Will You Respond?

by Karin Chernoff Kaplan, Director
Richard Chasinoff Principal

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Physician compensation plans have generally been designed to meet specific health system objectives including: Optimizing recruitment and retention Aligning physician financial incentives with organization goals around quality, productivity, citizenship Promoting consistency and equity among physicians Most compensation models reflect expectations with respect to production, quality, and time worked, and target expected levels of compensation based […]

COVID-19: Physician Practices Disrupted

by Karin Chernoff Kaplan, Director
Robert Hill, Principal
Richard Chasinoff, Principal

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Many physicians, and other clinicians, are working harder than perhaps they ever have under extraordinary conditions, as COVID-19 surges through our communities. While those conditions will improve as the initial surge subsides, physician practices, both independent and employed, will need to change to respond to the consequences of that surge, and the potential for secondary […]

COVID-19 and Physician Compensation:
Part 1 – Physicians on the Front Line

by Karin Chernoff Kaplan, Director

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The Blanket Waivers that CMS issued on sanctions under the physician self-referral law (Stark) do not halt application of the law during this emergency time period. Instead, they waive sanctions for certain circumstances that would otherwise violate the self-referral law. The 18 individual waivers address a variety of financial arrangements between physicians and designated health […]

5 Strategies for Aligning Physician Compensation with Value-Based Performance

by Amanda Brown, MHA

The move toward value-based contracts is happening “in small doses,” a 2018 MGMA survey found. While nearly three out of five hospitals participate in value-based contracts, just 34 percent of healthcare reimbursement is tied to value. This presents healthcare leaders with a dilemma: How can we engage physicians in value-based payment models when so little […]

Adjusting wRVUs for Modifiers when Compensating Physicians: The How and the Why

by Karin Chernoff Kaplan, Director

The use of CPT code modifiers to adjust work relative value units (wRVUs) under physician compensation models has become a universal practice among hospitals and health systems that employ physicians—and with good reason. The risks of not applying CPT code modifiers—such as an inability to objectively measure performance—are significant. Why should healthcare organizations that employ […]

Checklist: Discussing Onboarding Issues Before Closing a Physician Practice Acquisition

by Rudd Kierstead, Principal

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Many of the reasons why physician practice acquisitions come apart after the deals are finalized fall under the category of “operational incompatibility.” Too often, the team that negotiates the deal is not the same team that is charged with operationalizing the deal. As a result, potential administrative and management problems — from physician appointment schedules […]

Tips for Successfully Handling Physician Compensation During Practice Acquisition

by Stuart J. Schaff, Senior Manager

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Compensation is often a make-or-break deal point in a hospital’s acquisition of a physician practice. Prospective physician employees will naturally compare what they will earn post-acquisition to what they currently earn as practice owners, partners, or employees. From the hospital employer’s perspective, discussions around physician compensation provide important opportunities to win physicians over and to […]