Non-Traditional Physician Compensation Models

Creative Compensation Models

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BY DR. DAVID EDWARD MARCINKO MBA CMP®

A Review of Some Newer Compensation Models

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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.

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Re-Imagining Global Health Care Business Models?

The State of MEDICAL TOURSIM in the USA

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By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP®

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SPONSORED: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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.

What Is Medical Tourism? - YouTube

Foreign countries where I studied medicine and surgery, and practiced briefly, such as Finland, England, Canada and Germany 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 retained a decade ago 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.

So far, so good; right? Thumbs Up!

But, then came the Corona Virus Pandemic!

Hand With Thumb Down Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

Johns Hopkins University Covid 19 Tracker: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

India Today: https://www.indiatoday.in/coronavirus

INDIA RATIONING: https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/who-to-be-saved-who-not-to-be-inside-a-hospital-during-indias-covid-19-crisis/ar-BB1golnK?li=BBnb7Kz

ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts are now appreciated.

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A Video Vision of Healthcare’s Future from Microsoft

By Staff Reporters

Medical Tourism and Health Information Technology in Malaysia

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According to Dan Dunlop, over at The Healthcare Marketer, the following video promotes Malaysia as a preferred healthcare destination. It positions the country as a one stop destination for all medical and tourism related needs, bringing together related service providers on a single platform. Malaysia would like to be seen as being on the leading edge of technology.

Malaysia Healthcare

In fact, here’s what the Malaysia Healthcare website had to say about the video:

“With state of the art hospitals being built in Malaysia; it’s just a matter of time before we experience seamless healthcare delivery. Malaysia Healthcare patients use a portable Personal Health Record (PHR) called the iPHER that carries all their PHI which includes, medications, lab tests, diagnosis, immunizations, alternative procedures, digital images, dental records, ophthalmic care (lens and contact prescriptions) and DNA any where in the world with no need to access the Internet to view the information. Malaysia Healthcare currently uses this PHR to reduce medical errors and create continuity of care for all their patients and to provide seamless healthcare delivery.”

Assessment

This is an incredible video that demonstrates how Microsoft sees the future of healthcare and shows one vision for how technology will potentially improve our way of life!

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Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aKNK7OTHKs&feature=player_embedded#at=235

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Medical Tourism and Values Based Health Insurance

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Two Emerging Medical Business Models

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™]dr-david-marcinko10

Last year, nurse-executive Hope Hetico; RN, MHA from www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com and I wrote a chapter on physician compensation for the book Practicing Medicine in the 21st Century. The book was edited by David B. Nash; MD, MBA of Jefferson Medical College, in Philadelphia. One of us [DEM] attended medical school at Temple University, so David clearly does not hold a grudge against us. Nevertheless, in the publication, we identified these two emerging trends that have grown even stronger with the passage of time:

Values Based Health Insurance Model

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 seems plausible.

In this model, out-of-pocket costs are based on price and a cost/quality tradeoff in clinical circumstances: low co-payments for interventions of highest value, and higher co-payments for interventions with little proven health benefit. Smarter benefit packages are designed to combine disease management with cost sharing to address spending growth.

Medical Tourism and the 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), and the Apollo Hospital in New Delhi India (cardiac and orthopedic surgery) which 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 JCAHO 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.

Assessment

Another commentator on this topic is hospitalist Robert Wachter, MD; a blogger at Wachter’s World.

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Conclusion

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

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

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