PODCAST: Direct Employer Contracting for Medical Services

Employers Can Enter Into Direct Contracts with Doctors, Hospitals and Other Healthcare Facilities for Medical Services for Members of Their Employee Health Plan.


Texas CEO Magazine 2016 Economic Forecast: Dallas - Texas ...


Reimbursement Typically Takes the Form of a Bundled Payment or a Lower Rate of Fee-for-Service.

Employers with Greater Than 500 Employees Tend To Engage in Direct Contracting.

Mid-Market Employers with a High Concentration of Employees in One Geographic Area Tend to Engage in Direct Contracting as Well.

The Employer Frequently Uses an Independent TPA to Process the Claims for the Direct Contract.

Also, the Employee Health Plan Changes the ‘Benefit Level’ Such that Care at the Direct Contract Facility is Often at $0 Out-of-Pocket Cost for the Member.

Engaging the Plan Members with Navigation Services is Helpful to Make the Experience Integrated with the Overall Health Plan Offerings.


CITE: https://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Health-Insurance-Managed-Care/dp/0826149944/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275315485&sr=1-4



Non-Traditional Physician Compensation Models

Creative Compensation Models

"Advisors Only" | The Leading Business Education Network ...


A Review of Some Newer Compensation Models


CMP logo

Today, whether independent or employed, physicians can pursue several creative compensation models, other than fee-for service reimbursement based on Current Procedural Terminology [CPT®] codes, not popular a few decade ago:

  • Pay-for-Performance Initiatives [P4P]: According to Mark Fendrick, MD and Michael E. Chernew, PhD, instead of the one size fits all approach of traditional health insurance, a “clinically-sensitive” cost-sharing system that supports co-payments related to evidence-based value for targeted patients is emerging. In 2014, for example, there were a number of changes to Medicare’s pay-for-performance programs [personal communication]. These value-based payment modifiers will show up in physicians’ paychecks in few years, and will be expanded to practices with 10 or more eligible professionals. The program, mandated by the Affordable Care Act, assesses a provider’s quality of care and costs, and increases Medicare payments for good performers and decreases them for bad ones. And, doctor performance will be reflected in adjustments to 2016 payments. As much as 2% of Medicare payments will be at risk in 2021 based on physician performance in 2019. It was only 1% for 2015, which was based on doctors’ 2013 performance.
  • Physician Quality Reporting Initiative Model.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS] paid out more than $40 million in monetary incentives to medical providers who reported data on quality of care delivered between July 2020 and December 2020; as part of its PQRI. Under the PQRI, healthcare providers who participated received bonuses of 1.5 percent of their total CMS payments during the reporting period.
  • Direct Reimbursement Payment Model:  A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) is a tool which is used to provide direct reimbursement by an employer for qualified medical expenses.  The HRA is an employer-established benefit plan, and contributions to the plan may only be made by the employer.  The HRA can be used in conjunction with any insurance plan, including a high-deductible plan. Qualified reimbursements made under the HRA are tax-deductible for the employer, and the payments are not counted as income for the employee.  Any balance in an HRA can generally be carried over to the next year.  This plan allows for flexibility and tailored to meet the particular needs of both employers and employees in a tax-advantaged manner.  From the physician’s perspective, increasing use of HRAs poses new challenges.  Payment for services in the medical office may be required of the patient/employee before reimbursement from the employer occurs.  These extra steps can easily result in delayed payment or non-payment to medical providers who are not prepared to work with this model of reimbursement.  The provisions for this model are outlined in IRS publication 969, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p969.pdf.
  • Concierge Practice Model:  The concept of concierge medicine (CM), also known as retainer medicine, first emerged in Seattle, Washington in the 1990’s. With CM, the physician charges an annual retainer fee to patients.  The fee usually ranges from $1,000 to $20,000 per year, and the number of patients in a practice is usually limited to a few hundred.  In return, patients receive increased levels of access and personalized care. This often includes same day appointments, extended visit times, house calls, and 24/7 access to the physician by pager and cell phone. An annual executive physical is often included, as well as an increased emphasis on preventive care.  Many physicians choosing this type of practice model do so for lifestyle and control reasons, although the average income for a successful CM primary care physician is higher than that of a typical primary care physician. .
  • Global Healthcare Model: American businesses are extending their cost-cutting initiatives to include offshore employee medical benefits, and facilities like the Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand (cosmetic surgery), the Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, India (cardiac and orthopedic surgery) are premier examples for surgical care. Both are internationally recognized institutions that resemble five-star hotels equipped with the latest medical technology. Countries such as Finland, England and Canada are also catering to the English-speaking crowd, while dentistry is especially popular in Mexico and Costa Rica. Although this is still considered “medical tourism,” Mercer Health and Benefits was recently retained by three Fortune 500 companies interested in contracting with offshore hospitals and The Joint Commission [TJC] has accredited 88 foreign hospitals through a joint international commission. To be sure, when India can discount costs up to 80%, the effects on domestic hospital reimbursement and physician compensation may be assumed to increase downward compensation pressures.
  • Locum Tenens Practitioner Model: Locum Tenens (LT) as an alternative to full-time employment is enjoying a comeback for most specialties. Some younger physicians enjoy the travel, while mature physicians like to practice at their leisure. Employment factors to consider include: firm reputation, malpractice insurance, credentialing, travel and relocation expenses (which are negotiable). However, a LT firm typically will not cover taxes [NALTO.org and http://www.studentdoc.com/locum-tenens.html%5D

ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts are appreciated.

INVITE DR. MARCINKO: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/dr-david-marcinkos-bookings/



The Power of “ME Inc” for Physicians

Embracing a New Competitive Practice Culture

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™


There are more than 900,000 physicians in the United States. Yet, the brutal supply/demand/demographic calculus of the matter is that there are just too many aging patients chasing too few doctors. Compensation and reimbursement is plummeting as Uncle Sam becomes the payer-of-choice for more than 52% of us. And, the government as payer will likely increase with the Obama Administration. So, going forward, it is not difficult to imagine the following four rules for a new-wave competitive medical care culture for all physicians.

[A] Rule No. 1

Forget about large office suites, surgery centers, fancy equipment and the bricks and mortar that comprised traditional medical practices. One doctor with a great idea, good bedside manner or competitive advantage, can outfox a slew of CPAs, while still serving the public and making money. It’s a unit-of-one healthcare economy where “ME Inc.”, is the standard and physicians must maneuver for advantages that boost their standing and credibility among patients and payers. Examples include patient satisfaction surveys, the rise of evidence-based medicine; outcomes research analysis, concierge medicine, direct reimbursement payment plans, and economic credentialing; etc.

 [B] Rule No. 2

Challenge conventional wisdom, think outside the traditional payer box, recapture your dreams and ambitions, disregard conventional gurus and work harder – and smarter – than you have ever worked before. Remember the old saying, “if everyone is thinking alike, then nobody is thinking”. Do insurance panel members think rationally or react irrationally?

However, you should realize the power of networking, vertical integration and the establishment of virtual medical practices, which come together to treat a patient, and then disband when a successful outcome achieved. Job security in this structure is achieved with successful outcomes, and perhaps not necessarily a degree in the near future. Medical futurists even presume the establishment of virtual medical schools and hospitals, where students and doctors learn and practice their art on cyber-entities that look and feel like real patients, but are generated electronically through the wonders of virtual reality units.



[C] Rule No 3

Differentiate yourself among your medical peers. Do or learn something new and unknown by your competitors. Market your accomplishments and let the world know. Be a non-conformist. The conformity of health insurance plans are an operational standard and a straitjacket on creativity. Doctors should create and innovate, not blindly follow entrenched medical society leaders into oblivion. Seek, and practice, health 2.0 collaboration with all stakeholders.

[D] Rule No 4

Realize that the present situation is not necessarily the future. Attempt to see the future and discern your place in it. Master the art of the quick change and fast but informed decision making. Do what you love, disregard what you don’t, and let the fates have their way with you. Then, decide for yourself if health plans adhere to any of the above rules?

AssessmentKung Fu

Regardless of the future de facto business model of the learned profession of medicine, current practice models are no longer the structure of choice. Rather, a more laissez-faire and highly competitive business model should be pursuedPhysicians have been slow to accept this philosophy.  Remember, as a physician, if you merely want a static job with promised security, pledged retirement benefits, limited goals and structured regulations; join a health plan panel and become their laborer.

However, if you desire more, such as the possibility of a dynamic career, the unlimited security of your brainpower, non-defined retirement contributions, infinite potential with rules you can create along the way; incorporate the power of ME, Inc., in everything you do. Remain a competitive professional and be a physician ... Get fly! 


And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

Get our Widget: Get this widget!

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Sponsors Welcomed

And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details       

Product Details  Product Details

   Product Details 

Direct Reimbursement [DR] and RiskManagers.Us

Join Our Mailing List

Transparent Dental Benefits versus Confusion

[By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS]


“If you are not a part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.” 

Company slogan- www.riskmanagers.us

Meet Mr. William Rusteberg

Today, I met William Rusteberg on the PennWell forum when he replied to the thread, “Why the long NPI, BCBS-TX?” which I copied below, along with my response which includes a plug for Direct Reimbursement [DR].


Mr. Rusteberg represents a company called RiskManagers.Us, whose specialty involves the benefits market, yet it is not exactly an insurance company – just like there is no such thing as true dental insurance.  RiskManagers.us is a firm that works directly with businesses to identify and develop cost-effective benefits packages – emphasizing transparency and fairness.  Now that is refreshing, friends! 

Defining RiskManagers.Us 

Here is how RiskManagers.us describes itself: 

“We do not work for an insurance company, we work for you. As an independent brokerage, and consulting firm we can represent any licensed insurance company in Texas, Colorado, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Illinois & Florida.”

If one visits the Web site’s “Reference Library,” here are some of the topics offered:

·         Self Funding – Need a second opinion?

·         Texas leads in transparency issues

·         Can’t get claim information? HB 2015 May Solve Your Problem

·         Medical Stop Loss Through a Captive

·         PPO Discounts – Games People Play

·         PPO Networks – Shell Game

·         Can Hospitals waive Deductibles in Texas?

“What is a NPI number?” 

Mr. Rusteberg’s initial question on the PennWell forum simply asked, “What is a NPI number?”  Following my explanation, he wrote: 

 “It seems that many of those in your profession would do well in accepting cash only, or directly working with employer groups who sponsor dental/medical plans on a direct pay basis. We have had good success in doing this for our clients – we have one employer in San Antonio who pays medical care providers directly and quickly – providers like it and the plan pays a fair and reasonable rate, not relying on a PPO network to “re-price” claims. We have done the same on dental plans, eliminating the insurance company, PPO network and paying dental care providers submitted charges directly and quickly. We see little or no trend increases on dental charges using this method. In my view, insurance companies interfere in patient – provider relationships in a financially detrimental way.”

Thanks for your reply.

My Response:

I like you, William; 

What you describe sounds like my all-time, personal favorite dental benefits plan. It is called Direct Reimbursement {DR}, and it not only gives the employer the unlimited capability to design a plan which reflects the level of commitment desired by the company, but most importantly, it naturally preserves quality of care by allowing employees unlimited freedom of choice in dentists.  And that’s as good as the market gets. 


In addition, since there are no NPI requirements for DR, employees are also permitted see dentists who decline NPI numbers for ethical reasons. That increases employees’ choice by 50% over BCBS-TX clients, according to recent information provided by the Healthcare IT Transition Group.


Little Management Needed

Just like the benefits plans you mention, with DR, very little money is spent on management because such policies are so simple and transparent that there is no room for profit-enhancing (wasteful) confusion used by unethical companies like BCBSTX, Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealth, Delta Dental, United Concordia, and so many other members of the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP).


Without transparency and the invisible hand of freedom-of-choice, free-market competition for healthcare dollars disappears as fast as executive bonuses rise. We’ll see where it goes from here. It would sure be swell if a Direct Reimbursement representative takes interest in the conversation; anyone home? 


Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


Product DetailsProduct Details

%d bloggers like this: