Physician Contract Rates at Hospitals Simmer Down in 2012

Although contracted physician services continue to represent a growing cost for hospitals and health systems, the rate of pay increases in those contracts is leveling off, according to MD Ranger's fourth annual physician contract benchmark report.

MD Ranger's report details physician compensation rates for on-call coverage, hospital-based physician services and other contracted areas. For this year's report, MD Ranger collected data on 9,000 physician contracts from 309 hospitals. Here are some of the findings from MD Ranger's 2012-13 report.

•    Total annual hospital spending on non-employed physician contracts ranged from $2 million in the 25th percentile to $14.8 million in the 90th percentile.

•    More than 80 percent of physician contracts had no change in pay rates, and the overall average increase across all contracts was 1 percent, down from 4 percent last year.

•    Trauma hospitals paid an average of 25 percent more for call coverage than hospitals that were not designated trauma centers.

•    Coverage payments increased by 12 percent for every 100-patient increase to the hospital's average daily census.

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