Part-Time Physician Pay: 5 Points to Know

A growing number of physicians are working part time — roughly 21 percent of physicians in 2010, up from 13 percent in 2005 — making it all the more important to understand all facets of compensation negotiations at hospitals and independent practices, according to a contributed article at American Medical News.

Steven Harris, JD, a partner at McDonald Hopkins in Chicago, described the following five points as crucial points to know when it comes to part-time physician compensation.

1. Employee versus independent contractor. Hospitals that employ physicians part time are responsible for withholding all income, Social Security and Medicare taxes, as well as unemployment taxes. However, if physicians work for hospitals as part-time independent contractors, they are responsible for making those tax payments to the IRS and state tax authorities, Mr. Harris wrote.

2. Fair rate of pay. Determining a fair rate of pay for part-time physicians can be very difficult. Hospitals and practices usually use four models to evaluate part-time physician pay: percentage of full-time physician's salary based on hours worked, percentage of collected professional fees, per diem or revenue-based (minus overhead expenses).

3. Benefits. Part-time employees in any setting may or may not receive benefits such as health, dental, vision, retirement, pension, disability coverage, life insurance and more. It varies from employer to employer. However, the rule of thumb is part-time workers, and physicians, may be eligible to receive certain benefits if they work a minimum of 30 hours a week on a regular basis, according to the article.

4. Call coverage. Full-time physicians know they are usually responsible for a set amount of call coverage, but this is usually an area that needs to be defined during negotiations for part-time physicians.

5. Restrictive covenants. Non-competition and non-solicitation clauses in a physician's employment agreement are essential if hospitals or practices want to prohibit a part-time physician for working with other competing outlets in the area.

More Articles on Physician Compensation:

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Primary Care Physician Compensation Grows 5.2% in 2011

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