Slot Policies for Groups with Part-Time Physicians

Posted by | March 11, 2014 | No Comments

In addition to full-time physicians, many group practices employ physicians that work part-time. When this is the case, arranging a slot policy for those physicians may be the most convenient and cost effective route.

The way slot coverage works is on a “full-time equivalency” (FTE) basis. This means that the premium for the “slot” is based on how many hours, collectively, the part-time physicians will be working in a week.

For example, if there are five part-time physicians each working 8 hours per week (40 hours total), then there would be one FTE slot. Therefore the premium for that slot would be comparable to one full-time physician’s premium. If the five part-time physicians each work 16 hours per week (80 hours total), then the premium would be comparable to premium for 2 full-time physicians, as the insurance carrier is covering the same amount of time, collectively, that two full-time physicians would.

There are several benefits to utilizing a slot policy:

Each part-time physician does not have to have their own individual policy. Any physician that is covered by slot policy can work any amount of hours as long as they, as a whole, do not exceed the number of hours the slot allows.

If a physician were to leave the group, they will not need to purchase tail coverage as the slot will remain open and the physician will be covered for any act or omission that could arise from negligence that occurred when they filled that slot. The only time tail coverage would need to be purchased is if a slot has been closed entirely or left unoccupied throughout the policy period.

After approval by the insurance company, physicians can be moved in and out of the “slot” at any time without having to purchase tail coverage.

This type of coverage can also be much more cost-effective than obtaining a separate policy for each individual physician.  Most insurance carriers have only one part-time designation: fewer than 20 hours per week.  Under a traditional policy, a physician working only 4 hours a week would still be charged the same amount that a doctor working 20 hours per week would because they are both technically “part-time.”

The flexibility and cost reduction allowed by a slot policy may benefit your group practice.  Diederich Healthcare can assist your practice with a custom risk solution, including slot policies, traditional polices, and stand-alone tail coverage.  You can contact our experienced professionals at 800.457.7790 or click here to complete a quote request form now.

To contact the author, call 800-457-7790 and ask for Chad Skaggs.

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