I have talked in the past about how to deal with a physician who wants to get off the call schedule or participate in a reduced call schedule. Group practices handle this in a number of ways but the one thing you must make sure about is how that physician’s compensation will be affected (i.e. reduced). The following are some additional real life examples from other group practices:
EXAMPLE: Any physician can, with sufficient notice (6 months) and approval of the Board, opt not to take call (either take 1/2 call or no call). This provision is included in the agreements with the understanding that this is a prelude to retirement. The penalty for taking this option is 2 fold – (1) Their pay (both salary draw and bonus) is reduced 15% for taking 1/2 call or 30% reduction for taking no call and (2) After 5 years of reduced call, the physician is expected to retire. This means they will no longer be a senior partner in the group. If they want AND if the group wants, they can opt to become a contract physician with a significantly different (lower) compensation plan. Typically, this would be for a doctor who only sees patients in the office.
EXAMPLE: Once our docs are eligible to retire, they can apply for "reduced call" and still remain a Partner IF they meet certain criteria. Reduced call is defined as no longer sharing in weekend call. It does not remove the sharing of mid-week call. Our Partners generally work 4 day work weeks. They voted to allow a senior Partner to get off of weekend call only if he goes back to working a 5-day work week. As long as he maintains this schedule he remains a full Partner and shares equally with other Partners. If he reduces coverage beyond this point, clinic or call, he is eligible to become a Partner Emeritus, in which case he must sell his stock back to the Company, lose voting rights and receive a 25% pay reduction and no bonus, but be eligible to begin receiving deferred compensation.
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