Q Should the MD/DO employed in my center be reimbursed for CME (continuing medical education) expenses?
A All doctors that you employ should have an employment contract that outlines compensation, benefits and extras. Although CME is a must, practically speaking, for almost all doctors nationwide, there is a limit as to what you should be expected to reimburse. Typically, the continuing medical education course should be closely related to the type of medicine the doctor practices, and the reimbursement should be limited to $1,500 to $2,000 per year. Keep in mind that you are competing in the medical world, which generally pays for such expenses at a reasonable rate.
Q My MD/DO does not want to work nights. I am concerned about emergencies and various other needs my patients may have after office hours.
A This obviously is a very serious matter that needs your immediate attention. Indeed, once your office is fully integrated into a multi-discipline center, all patients must be provided with necessary and appropriate medical care. At any given time, a patient may have an adverse reaction to a medication dispensed by your office’s medical doctor. Make sure you have a system in place so your medical doctor can handle possible emergencies. It is obviously not reasonable to ask your doctor to be on call 24/7, but patients must have steps they can follow in the event of a medical emergency.
Q My health clinic treats a large volume of patients that are strictly workers’ comp. Would I benefit from the integration process?
A The need for integration is not related to the type of cases you can treat. Hundreds of patients have conditions that can only be treated by certain types of health-care providers. A chiropractor is obviously well-trained to treat musculoskeletal problems. The treatment of a fractured humerus is best treated, however, by an orthopedist specialist.
If you are interested integrating your services into a multi-disciplinary aspect, it should be because you are trying to provide your patients with the best care by multiple specialists in one location. The integration process involves a fairly complex development and should be done to enhance all of your practice’s services, not one specific service. The integration process is intended to bring to your clinic a multiple aspect of doctors providing all types of care that enhance your protocols. Your patients benefit from a “one-stop-shop,” and you benefit from the ability to offer patients more options — and from a potentially larger source of revenue from the added services.