Tuesday, November 15, 2011

End-of-year Tax Tips for Physicians

Some of these tips relate solely to your personal tax return, some pertain to physicians who own their practice and thus file a corporate return, and some could apply to either personal or corporate returns.

Here are some tips, "P" refers to personal returns and "B" refers to business:

1. Donate More to Your Hospital, Medical Research Charities, or Other Qualified Organizations (P, B)

2. Defer, Defer, Defer (P, B)

3. Set Aside More for Retirement (P, B)

4. Sell Stocks That Are Losers! (P)

5. Take a Business Trip for Continuing Education or to Broaden Your Clinical Horizons (P, B)

6. Add Up Any Job-Hunting Costs (P, B)

7. Buy More Business or Medical Equipment (B)

Some of these advantages may go away for 2012, now is the time to start taking advantage of any breaks for 2011 returns.

Read the full article in MedScape, or click here:


Monday, November 14, 2011

Physician Compensation Update

In most specialties physicians are seeing an increase in compensation from last year. According to MGMA data the specialties experiencing the most dramatic increases were dermatology, emergency medicine, neurology, orthopedic surgery, and pulmonary medicine. The few specialties experiencing a decline were invasive cardiology, urology, and ophthalmology.

Experts say the big picture will most likely cause physician compensation to flatten, but the ever-rising demand for services should have an upside offsetting effect.

Hospitals and medical groups are also becoming more open-minded in their employment offers, trying to stay competitive not only from a salary stand-point but also offering enticing benefit packages, relocation, paid vacation and CMEs, and other incentives to create a big-picture compensation package.

Read the full article in the New England Journal of Medicine, or click here:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Changing Career Path: From Clinical to non-Clinical

For a variety of reasons some physicians seek to switch their clinical career to a non-clinical position. However once they make that change it is very difficult to shift back to even a limited clinical practice, so it is important if you are considering making this change to take all factors in to account. After more than 2 years of a non-clinical position, it is very difficult to switch back to a clinical career.

While making the transition the focus doesn't have to have a dramatic stop to clinical work, it can be a slow decrease over time of a less clinically focused practice. Many physicians continue to maintain their state licenses and also up to date CME requirements to keep a possibility of more clinical work in the future.

The switch to a non-clinical position is very desireable to many phsyicians both as a retirement alternative as well as a research outlet for younger physicians. However the consequences are severe if the decision is based on short-term objectives, it is crucial to be certain you are ready to make the switch prior to completely transitioning out of a clinical position.

Read the full article in American Medical News, or click here:

The Art of Negotiating Physician Employment Agreements

Negotiating an employment contract prior to starting a new physician practice opportunity is paramount in ensuring a mutually beneficial long-term relationship with both the physician and the hospital. This is the only opportunity both parties have to ensure their respective needs are being met.

Whether you're the head of a medical practice inviting an experienced physician to join the group, or a resident contemplating a Letter of Intent, fair and effective negotiations are crucial to establishing a long-term working relationship.

Forethought, preparation, and the ability to listen are essential to success. Often times by the time most physicians realize that the terms of their Agreement are less than propitious it is usually too late. Most disputes between physicians and employers resulting in termination aren't related to medical competence. More often than not, physicians claim that their employers failed to inform them of, or misrepresented, working conditions, patient workload, call responsibilities, partnership potential, or the prospects for increased compensation.

During the negotiation process sometimes physicians become blindsided for lack of preparation and the failure to rank priorities effectively. It is important to consider a personal balance of long-term priorities over the course of your career including location, family, community amenities, and compensation.

Read the full article in Physicians News, or click here:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Quality Incentives Become Bigger Factor in Physician Compensation

With the increase of employed physicians and hospital employed positions, hospitals are increasing their flexibility to offer multiple types of incentives in addition to salaries.

According to a recent study from the Hay Group, "2011 Physician Compensation Survey," 64% of health care organizations offer an annual incentive plan to physicians. Incentives in addition to salary vary in their scope and are sometimes specialty specific but are generally based on either volume based incentives or quality based bonuses.

Quality and patient satisfaction, which public and private insurers are pushing as an incentive over productivity, were key factors in determining incentive pay.

Read the full article in American Medical News, or click here: