Report Shows Steady Increase in Hospitals’ On-Call Expenses
California hospitals paid $1.6 billion for physician on-call coverage in 2008, accounting for 3.6% of hospital expenses, according to a report by consulting firm MD Ranger, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The report found that trauma centers' on-call costs were 30% higher than hospitals without trauma facilities and that physician expenses at trauma centers in California have increased by 8% annually since 2001. By comparison, non-trauma centers' physician costs have increased by 16% annually since 2001.
The report indicated that independent hospitals paid lower on-call rates than facilities that are affiliated with larger health care systems.
In addition, the report found that medical directors at trauma centers were paid 6% more than their counterparts at hospitals that do not have trauma centers.
MD Ranger said the report is based on data from 4,000 contracts from 191 hospitals in 17 states, including 129 hospitals in California (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 2/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.