Second Look- Advocacy

Compensation for on-call coverage
Hospitals are changing how they pay physicians for on-call coverage, according to data from the Medical Group Management Association’s “Medical Directorship and On-Call Compensation Survey: 2012 Report Based on 2011 Data.” Data indicate that although a daily stipend is the most frequent payment form, the proportion of physicians who receive it dropped from 33 percent in 2009 to 29.1 percent in 2011. The annual stipend also became less common, dropping from 14 percent in 2009 to 10 percent in 2011. The percentage of physicians receiving payments based on work resource value units (RVUs) grew from 0 percent in 2009 to 2.6 percent in 2011, and 7.5 percent of physicians receive per-shift payments.

Study: Patients overestimate physician reimbursements
A study in the May Journal of Arthroplasty finds that many patients overestimate physician reimbursement for total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA). A survey of 812 people (279 THA patients, 348 TKA patients, and 185 patients who were being evaluated for hip or knee arthritis) found that respondents estimated Medicare payments to physicians at $8,212 for THA (actual average = $1,375) and at $7,196 for TKA (actual average = $1,450).

FDA panel on MoM hip devices
Members of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Orthopaedic and Rehabilitative Devices Panel offered recommendations for follow-up care for patients with metal-on-metal (MoM) hip devices. Panelists heard from FDA presenters, physicians (including AAOS members), and representatives from industry. FDA presenters argued that patients complaining of pain and other symptoms should undergo regular radiographic evaluation and blood testing for metal levels. However, panelists pointed out that blood tests are often inaccurate and interpreting the results can be difficult. Panelists agreed that annual radiographs should be sufficient for patients who are not experiencing pain.

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