MedAxiom, a cardiovascular medical professional association owned by the American College of Cardiology, recently released the 2020 edition of their annual cardiology compensation report. The survey reveals production and compensation data across all modalities of cardiovascular care including non-invasive, invasive non-interventional, interventional, electrophysiology, heart failure, and cardiac surgery.
All regions of the country reported increases in median total cardiology compensation from 2018 with the South remaining in the lead.
Call participation varies by age, with a quarter of physicians over the age of 61 dropping down from full participation. More than half of cardiologists over the age of 70 have pulled back from full call participation.
Cutting back from full call has a profound impact on total compensation with cardiologists dropping back to partial call seeing a 25% drop in total compensation. This pay reduction is despite the fact that these same physicians are producing just 3% below those fully participating on call. Based on these numbers you can get a sense of the onerous natures of call in cardiology. It is MedAxiom’s experience that call value can often approach 50% of total compensation in cardiology internal distribution plans.
The overall increases in surgical compensation, particularly the cardiac surgery subset, provides a glimpse into the very tight supply of these deeply subspecialized physicians. Feedback from the MedAxiom community suggests that programs struggle to fill necessary vacancies or to recruit replacement talent for surgeons who are retiring or cutting back from full time.
Moonlighting Solutions is proud to be an industry partner of MedAxiom. To learn more, download a complimentary copy of MedAxiom's full report here: Cardiovascular Provider Compensation & Production Survey.
If you are a MedAxiom member interested in physician moonlighting, be sure to inquire about special incentives for MedAxiom members when you contact us.
We’re proud to be recognized by Becker’s as a leading telehealth organization and honored to see MLS alongside some of the most notable and impactful names in the business – many of whom we proudly call partners. MLS will continue its mission to serve telehealth organizations and health systems with physician-led design and implementation of onsite and virtual clinical staffing programs.
In the U.S., hospitals and health systems are developing strategies to connect with patients in remote locations. The pandemic has made these efforts even more urgent.
MLS Telehealth has implemented virtual clinics across the country to connect patients with specialists for health issues that are more complex or need additional expertise and support than is locally available.
To learn more about the projected growth of telehealth - the Frost & Sullivan survey can be found here
We want to thank all physicians, clinicians, and healthcare leaders who are working tirelessly on the front lines fighting the pandemic every day, especially our physician moonlighters.
Our corporate team of recruiters and account managers are working remotely nationwide to help meet demand and to keep your physician moonlighting program running as smoothly as possible.
Additionally, telemedicine demand is growing rapidly as it provides a safe, effective mode of patient care in light of the highly contagious virus. Depending on your location, specialty, and payor/patient mix, some restrictions and regulations have been relaxed to facilitate telemedicine care during the pandemic. Therefore we are able to help you set up and implement your new telehealth service in a matter of days, in some cases.
Our physician network of active and recently active moonlighters is ready to help your staff physicians manage this crisis. We can help match you with physician moonlighters and get them in the door and working ASAP by providing all the necessary administrative legwork including:
Please contact Mike Guenther directly to discuss your urgent staffing needs and to schedule physicians who are ready to work as soon as possible: (908) 783-0678.
(Note: If you have an account with us already, please contact your account manager directly for any questions or needs.)
If you are a physician who would like to help provide additional coverage to a health system in need (virtually or on-site), please apply now online or email your CV and availability to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telehealth is gaining ground in the healthcare industry, solving many challenges for patients and providers of healthcare, from alleviating staffing issues to improving access to specialty care for rural or home-bound patients. Plus, in light of the novel coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine is gaining popularity at a rapid rate in 2020.
Now that telehealth has grown to reach more patients, healthcare organizations and executives can begin to better understand the benefits and challenges of telemedicine programs by analyzing ones that have been operating for some time. To that end, JD Power released its first-ever U.S. Telehealth Satisfaction Study, to gauge telehealth adoption, challenges, and ways to increase awareness and usage of this valuable technology and healthcare resource.
The findings from JD Power provide interesting insight that health systems can leverage as they launch new programs or develop and improve existing telemed services.
Customer satisfaction with telehealth services is high: The overall customer satisfaction score for telehealth services is 851 (on a 1,000-point scale), and is 900 or higher among 46% of telehealth users. These customer satisfaction scores are among the highest of all healthcare, insurance and financial services industry studies conducted by J.D. Power. Only direct banking customer satisfaction ranks higher, with an average score of 855.
Telemedicine Implementation Manager for Moonlighting Solutions, Priya Jacob, agrees that patient satisfaction is the number one priority when offering any new healthcare service to patients. “It’s paramount to keep our patients as our focal point throughout every step of the process of implementing and managing a telehealth program,” she explains. “An important part of patient satisfaction is reducing the amount of time from starting the patient intake process to the completion of the consult, without sacrificing quality of care.”
The findings from the JD Power telehealth survey agree that the duration of any virtual consult is a key factor in driving patient satisfaction. On average, telehealth consumers say their entire experience took an average of 44 minutes: 17 minutes to complete the enrollment process, 9 minutes to wait for a physician or nurse practitioner and 18 minutes for the actual consultation. (Currently, telehealth users are relatively dissatisfied with the amount of time the process takes, but providers compensate for it with the quality and convenience of care provided.)
Jacob adds, “Telehealth is a very rewarding way to practice medicine, but it also entails unique challenges that require commitment on the part of the physician. Since telemedicine doesn’t involve working from a brick-and-mortar clinic or hospital, sometimes it can feel less formal, but physicians must remember to maintain professionalism at all times and conduct themselves appropriately, despite their remote location.”
Ultimately, a telemedicine program can't be successful without qualified physicians. This is where a firm such as Moonlighting Solutions can assist with staffing and implementation of an effective telemedicine program. Moonlighting Solutions already staffs a number of telehealth programs nationwide in a variety of specialties including primary care, cardiology, psychiatry, and more. Therefore, MLS has a network of physicians who are trained and experienced in telemedicine who are interested and available to cover additional shifts and provide the highest quality of virtual patient care.
Cardiology is the second busiest specialty for physician moonlighters at Moonlighting Solutions (second only to hospitalists). The growing demand for cardiovascular care, coupled with shortages of cardiologists, creates many staffing and call coverage challenges for cardiology service lines and healthcare leaders across the country, especially in areas where the physician shortages and care demands are most extreme.
MedAxiom's most recent Cardiovascular Provider Compensation Survey reveals that today, there are more cardiologists over the age of 60 than ever before. The aging physician population increases retirement rates, turnover, and decreases productivity of some more experienced physicians as they wind down their practices and slow down their call coverage volume when approaching retirement.
In light of all these demands and challenges, wouldn't it be great to be able to offer your staff physicians a better quality of life and allow them to slow down their call coverage, without impacting productivity levels or patient care? This is where moonlighting can make a positive impact and help resolve a number of cardiology staffing challenges and meet increased demand for patient care.
Implementing a team of part-time, long-term physician moonlighters into your cardiology service line can alleviate many coverage gaps and scheduling challenges, as well as potentially help prevent or reduce physician burn-out by providing physicians with more nights and weekends off on a consistent basis.
Giving your staff physicians just one or two additional weekends off during the month for example, and/or nights off, allows staff physicians to rest and recharge, and to enjoy a more conducive work-life balance. In turn, physicians will likely be happier, less likely to burn-out, and in turn will be able to provide a higher quality of care more consistently.
Onsite moonlighters also allow aging physicians to slow down their call rotation duties, without impacting their physician colleagues or patients. A heavy call rotation increases attrition and makes recruitment of FTE cardiologists more difficult.
Providing coverage for STEMI call is another area of cardiovascular care whereby implementing moonlighters can make a relatively quick and significant impact to the service line. Utilizing moonlighters to assist staff physicians in the STEMI call rotation increases productivity and improves care. This makes life much easier for your staff cardiologists. Due to the often demanding nature of call duties for interventional cardiologists, combined with widespread shortages of these physicians, implementing physician moonlighters can help systems manage their cath lab volumes without the expense of hiring additional FTE cardiologists. Moonlighting coverage can prevent loss of patient volume caused by avoidable patient referrals out to other systems for cardiology care.
Providing remote care via telehealth technology int he cardiology department can help fill in coverage gaps during a physician shortage or help manage a surge in patient volume. Telemedicine allows you to extend cardiologists' reach to rural populations and/or medical underserved patient populations.
Virtual specialty clinics are a valuable telehealth resource for providing specialty care when a cardiologist is not available to be on-site. Virtual specialty clinic patients simply schedule visits with a remote cardiologist as if he or she is on-staff and on-site. When it’s time for the appointment, the patient goes to the designated office (a primary care practice, or other office space within your system) where tests can be conducted by clinicians at the office and communicated to the virtual cardiologist scheduled for appointments for that day.
Many patients treated by virtual moonlighters have never been treated by a specialist before. Not only does this benefit the patient population, it benefits the health system. Most physicians report that providing virtual care to medically underserved populations is extremely rewarding. They also like that they can provide this invaluable care without traveling or relocating.
Remote reading of cardiology test results (such as ECHOs and EKGs) is another way that virtual care can supplement your cardiology department and help support your full-time cardiologists.
We are proud to be an industry partner of MedAxiom. If you are a member of MedAxiom, you may be eligible for special incentives when you contract with us for any new moonlighting service lines with Moonlighting Solutions.
In addition to cardiology and hospital medicine, we provide physician moonlighters in almost any specialty. Our other top specialties are primary care, pulmonology/critical care, neurology, and psychiatry.
Contact Mike Guenther today and be sure to mention MedAxiom and this article, to discuss your coverage needs. Our team will consult with you to create a customized staffing plan that meets the unique challenges of your department.
Email: mike [dot] guenther [at] moonlightingsolutions [dot] com or submit a request for information online.
Different Staffing Approaches Address Separate Challenges
It’s a common misconception to confuse moonlighting coverage with locum tenens, but they are not one in the same. Moonlighting fills a different type of staffing need than locums can.
Most healthcare leaders are familiar with traditional “locums” coverage. Traditional locum tenens agencies utilize a rotating bench of traveling doctors to fill short-term assignments (with a definitive end-date) that are either full-time or part-time hours. Locums is great for providing coverage during a physician vacation, maternity leave, etc.
While locums (or travel doctors) do meet some important staffing needs, incorporating moonlighters into your physician team provides additional benefits to your full-time physician staff that locums cannot.
Moonlighting provides a more long-term approach than locum tenens. Moonlighting assignments often do not have a defined end-date because moonlighting physicians integrate with the full-time physician staff indefinitely, on a part-time schedule, such as night and weekend coverage, for example.
Implementing a moonlighting program provides many benefits for hospitals and health systems. A team of physician moonlighters can solve a number of staffing challenges that are not solved by permanent search firms or locum tenens.
A well-implemented moonlighting team enables a health system to incorporate part-time physicians on an ongoing basis rather than filling gaps with travel docs who are not familiar with the system, staff, EMR, protocols, etc. Moonlighters are able to more fully integrate with staff physicians and become part of the physician team, which benefits the health system, physicians, and their patients.
Studies show that, today more than ever, physician burn-out is a growing concern for many health systems and hospitals. Additionally, physician call schedules are a major factor impacting recruiting and retention. A moonlighting program makes life better for your physician staff, and for your patients.
Integrating part-time physicians with your full-time physician staff for the long-term creates a synergy that is not typically found with short-term travel doctors. Incorporating physician moonlighters into your coverage schedule addresses different staffing needs and solves workforce challenges that are often not alleviated by locums staffing alone.
As opposed to traveling doctors, physician moonlighters are often fellows who are currently completing their fellowship training nearby, and therefore are more easily accessible for a long-term rotation of weekend or night shifts.
Due to the more long-term nature of moonlighting assignments, as compared to locum tenens assignments, the vetting of physicians is especially critical for success. Effective recruiting and credentialing teams screen and vet each physician moonlighter to ensure that he or she will fit in with the staff, acclimate to the work environment, and provide the highest quality of care.
If you would like to explore how a moonlighting program can benefit your hospital or health system, set up a free consultation today by inquiring here on our site, or contact us by phone, or email Mike Guenther directly and mention this article: mike [dot] guenther [at] moonlightingsolutions [dot] com.
We are physician-owned and -operated, and therefore we can understand your staffing issues from a physician's perspective, to help structure the best call coverage program to meet your system's unique staff and clinical needs.
Cardiology is one of the top specialties for part-time physician moonlighters, second only to hospitalists, at Moonlighting Solutions. Cardiovascular care is in high demand, and health systems face many challenges keeping their cardiology service lines fully staffed. Utilizing a team of physician moonlighters in combination with telemedicine technology can help to supplement your full-time core staff of physicians, alleviating a number of staffing and scheduling challenges. Additionally, implementing moonlighters on a part-time, long-term basis can often solve staffing issues without hiring additional FTE cardiologists.
Moonlighting and staffing services for cardiology include:
Typically, a successful staffing plan will be comprehensive, and include a combination of all of the above, to meet demands and needs for fluctuations in patient volume, staff turnover, etc.
Providing remote care through telehealth technology is an increasingly popular way to fill coverage gaps during a physician shortage, or to help manage a periodic surge in patient volume. Additionally, telemedicine allows you to extend specialists' reach to rural populations and/or medically underserved populations.
Virtual specialty clinics are a valuable resource and method of providing specialty care when a cardiologist is not available to be on-site. Patients simply schedule visits with a remote cardiologist as if the physician is on-staff and on-site. When it's time for the virtual specialty clinic appointment, the patient goes to the nearby designated office (a primary care practice, or other office space within your system) where tests can be conducted by clinicians at the office and communicated to the virtual cardiologist scheduled for appointments that day.
Remote reading of cardiology test results such as ECHOs and EKGs) is another way that virtual care can supplement your cardiology department and help support your full-time cardiologists.
Physicians often report that they enjoy providing virtual care because it is rewarding to reach patients who may not otherwise have access to specialty care. Additionally, physicians like that they can provide invaluable care without traveling or relocating, and earn additional income while doing so.
To learn more about how moonlighters can benefit your patients and your staff, call or text Mike Guenther, VP of Key Accounts, 908.783-0678, to discuss your cardiovascular workforce challenges, and begin devising a customized solution and plan of action today.
Integrating part-time physician moonlighters to help cover nights and weekends (or any time you need additional coverage) for your full-time physician staff will help you retain and recruit FTE physicians, as well as continue to provide a high level of quality care to patients. Below are some key factors to consider and implement before you can start realizing the benefits of a physician moonlighting coverage program.
Which of your current staffers can take on the additional task(s) of managing the moonlighting program?
As you can see, there are many variables to consider throughout the process of implementing a moonlighting program for additional physician coverage. The valuable added benefits moonlighters provide to staff physicians and to your health system and patients are worth the investment. Moonlighting Solutions was established by a physician and former moonlighter, Dan Bensimhon, MD, to help other health systems enjoy the benefits of moonlighters without taking on the additional administrative tasks and ongoing oversight that is required to effectively implement and manage a successful and productive team of qualified physician moonlighters.
If you're ready to get started, contact us and we will handle the rest! You can also Request Coverage online and a consultant will contact you within 24-48 hours to discuss your needs and a potential coverage plan. For immediate assistance, please contact Mike Guenther directly: (908) 783-0678, to discuss your specific staffing needs. Our team will then devise a proposed staffing plan of action to solve your team's unique workforce challenges.
By now your flu season preparation should already be in process, but there is still time to make necessary adjustments and plans before the annual viral outbreak arrives. Flu season presents multiple challenges for hospitals and healthcare systems, including an increase in patient volumes and inpatient census, combined with absentee staff members due to illness (flu). Additionally, the holiday season partially overlaps with flu season, and vacation schedules create additional challenges for healthcare and hospital administrators.
Below are a few tips for managing flu season this year, from our operations team.
Begin planning for flu season by reviewing the processes and procedures from previous years - what were some of the challenges that could be avoided this year with different plans?
Assess your current staff, vacation schedules, and projected patient volumes and census for the flu season.
Once you've reviewed all of the above, you can plan for this year with necessary adjustments. Additionally, review your policies and procedures for flu season.
Administrators often turn to locums firms for assistance during the flu season. However, physician moonlighters are a great resource for flu season as well. The advantages to utilizing moonlighters instead of locums, or in addition to locums / travel docs include:
“Most hospitals increase staffing during the flu season in anticipation of an influx of patients. They also need additional healthy workers to step in for sick employees, with temporary healthcare staffing agencies often used to fill in the breach.”
To learn more about how to ensure adequate staffing in time for flu season, contact your account manager today. If you are new to Moonlighting Solutions or are unsure of your contact person, please contact Mike Guenther directly at (908) 783.0678.
You may still be soaking up the summer sun, but now is the time to think ahead to the holidays and plan your physician scheduling and coverage to get you through the season from Thanksgiving to the New Year.
Start by confirming your staff physicians' schedules throughout the holidays, so that you know where you will need coverage, which specialties, and which shifts will need covering.
Planning ahead is paramount to ensuring a smooth holiday season that is well-covered. The farther ahead you are able to schedule and book holiday coverage, the more obstacles and challenges you can avoid for your staff and patients.
1. Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is right around the corner! (+/-75 days away, as of mid-September!) Winter holidays and the New Year immediately follow...
2. Holidays are among the busiest days of the year for hospitals and physicians. Scheduling now for the holidays is as like getting all of your holiday shopping done in August!
3. Holiday season = FLU season. The holiday months coincide with flu season which always demands the most of clinicians.
4. Scheduling holiday shifts in advance enables you to secure the physicians you need in plenty of time for the holidays, with less stress!
5. Booking ahead allows adequate time for recruiting and credentialing.
6. Hospitals and health systems can save thousands of dollars by booking in advance, avoiding premium last-minute or emergency pay rates.
7. BONUS: You can actually help save lives and fight hunger by booking holiday coverage sooner rather than later. When you schedule your holiday coverage by October 1, 2019, Moonlighting Solutions will donate $300 to Action Against Hunger, a top-rated charity committed to saving lives and treating under-nutrition, particularly during and after disasters and conflicts.
UPDATE: The deadline to participate has been extended to October 15, 2019 - there is still time to get ahead for the holidays!