September 16, 2015
Q. I’m an FP in Chicago who’s contemplating a part-time job with a multispecialty group. I’ve agreed to work on a productivity basis rather than for a flat salary and will be reimbursed a percentage of any fee-for-service income the group collects on the patients I treat. I’m being offered 55 percent. Does that sound fair?
A. In theory, 55 percent seems about right. But it’s impossible to say without additional information. For instance, how many fee-for-service patients can you expect to treat? If the number is substantial, the deal could be fair. But if it’s not, you might not earn enough.
And what about managed care? Since parts of Chicago are well-penetrated, the group may have a significant percentage of capitated patients. Count on seeing them as well. It’s unlikely that the group will route all the high-profit fee-for-service patients to you, while the full-time physicians are stuck with the prepaid patients.
So find out how much you’ll be paid to see these capitated patients. Will you earn a portion of the fee-for-service equivalent, or will your pay be calculated some other way? Compensation formulas vary widely. I’ve seen some pretty unattractive ones that uninformed doctors accept without realizing it. On the other hand, I’ve seen many equitable formulas. If your compensation is fair, then even if you see a mix of fee-for-service and capitated patients, you could still be well rewarded if you’re productive.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions until you understand all the details of the compensation plan. Then run the numbers based on realistic patient-load scenarios, or ask your accountant to do it for you.
This article was published by Cejka Search and originally appeared in Medical Economics Magazine. Copyright by Medical Economics Company Inc. at Montvale, NJ 07645. All rights reserved.