It’s much more complicated to become an emergency room doctor today than it used to be, as emergency medicine has emerged as a specialty much like surgery or pediatrics.
“Emergency medicine has changed a lot,” says Dr. David Packo, a certified emergency medicine physician and partner of Emergency Medicine Physicians, an emergency department staffing and management company. ” Not long ago, residences and interns use to run the ER.”
Today’s medical schools offer emergency medical programs specifically designed to prepare physicians for a career in the ER. The only problem is that “there are about 4,200 hospitals that have emergency rooms, and it takes at least seven physicians to staff those programs, with only 18,000 board certified out there,” Packo says.
EMP hires only board-certified emergency medicine physicians, those who have gone to an accredited program and specialized. After finding the most qualified doctors to fill more than 300 positions in seven states, the company makes them partners, not employees.
EMP doctors become partners after 3,800 clinic hours, which usually takes two years, and after the third year, they become equal partners.
“We are more like the law firm model,” says Packo. “People come on and in three years, they become financial partners and then equity partners.”
That works because medicine is still a business and can benefit from basic business principles.
“This is where the entrepreneurial side of the company comes in,” says Packo. “If you are an hourly employee, it doesn’t matter how many people you see, you get paid the same. If you are a partner, the more people you see, the more you make.”
To increase efficiency in the billing process, EMP developed its own billing company.
“The billing company would charge 8 to 10 percent to collect, so they can only spend that much to collect.,” Packo says. “Now we have more control and better compliance and a lot more oversight.”
Employees in the billing company are encouraged to collect through generous bonuses.
“The more they do, the more they profit,” says Packo. “Some employees have doubled and tripled their compensation with these bonuses.” How to reach: Emergency Medicine Physicians, (330) 493-4443 or www.emp.com