Entrepreneur tip: How to find a supervising or collaborative physician
By: Sarah Grace Purdy, MPAS, PA-C
PAs deliver high quality medical care to our patients. Due to legislative restraints, in order to deliver care we are required to have either a supervising, collaborating or delegating physician agreement. Many exciting new legislative changes are being brought to the legislative bodies in states like Florida and Utah which will pave the way to Optimal Team Practice (OTP). Until these laws become reality, however, many PAs, especially those practicing in telemedicine entrepreneurial space, face the real and significant hurdle of securing a physician partner for their clinical practice. For those PAs currently looking to find the right physician partner for employment, new state license or entrepreneurial endeavors, here are a few tips to help make the right connection.
1. Ask your current network of providers
- If you work for a hospital system or an office that has multiple providers, asking a physician you already may know could be an easy option for an agreement. Also ask PAs in your network if they have any physicians they work with who are PA-friendly and may be open to additional collaboration.
2. Consider a physician matchmaking company.
- Two companies that have started advertising matching PAs with collaborating providers. PAVMT is excited to bring these offers and awareness to our members. PAVMT’s relationships with these companies are non-exclusive, non-partnership allowing a greater flexibility for our members and PA practice.
- PAVMT will host a webinar Thursday, March 4 at 4 pm PST / 7 pm EST for a Q&A session (Register)
- PA-friendly, knowledgeable of state-by-state requirements, D4P offers a 10% discount to all PAVMT members during their first year of collaboration. Also for PAVMT members they offer small discounts to new practices in the first months of operation to help with cash flow. These services will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. D4P’s basic contracts start at $1000 per month, depending on the complexity of the collaboration. Doctors for Providers works with vetted, ivy-league physicians.
- Collaborating Docs
- Originally created and marketed to NPs, Collaborating Docs recently added PAs into their company. Pricing is not readily available on their site and you will need to fill out a questionnaire about your practice for further information.
3. Post on Indeed.com or other job sites
- If you are incorporated, (LLC, PLLC, P/S-corp), you can create an employer account for free and post advertisements for a partnership. Creating an ad is quick and easy. The cost depends on the length of time you run your ad. This method can generate multiple physician responses however you’ll have to interview, vet and screen your potential candidates.
4. Posting in physician Facebook groups
- Some physician Facebook groups allow job postings. When you ask to join the group, if you fully disclose your needs some have no issues allowing you to join.
Some tips for finding the right physician for you.
- Check your state PA-Physician rules:
- Does your physician have to have the same board certification/specialty of the services you plan to provide? If you are doing psychiatry, does the state you are incorporated in require you to have a psychiatrist? Some states (example Florida currently, your physician must match your services, but states like Illinois this language is not in the legislation).
- This can be helpful as ER physicians and primary care are usually more plentiful and affordable options. You can generally find someone for around $500 to partner with, however a psychiatrist or a specialist will usually request $1,000 a month or more.
- Finding a physician on your own:
- This will be more affordable vs a matching service if you are planning to add employees/1099s or expand states. Most of the matching services will double the cost to add providers or states. However, with most private agreements most physicians are comfortable with slight increase, (if any), with early expansion.
- Expect the majority of physicians to ask for malpractice insurance
- The easiest way to avoid this is to find a physician who currently has their own independent malpractice coverage. There of course are pros and cons to this; if a claim is made, with different policies there are different legal teams involved and separate fees vs having a claim all under one policy. Another option for malpractice is to add them to your individual policy or create a group medical malpractice for your business. Adding endorsed physicians is usually no extra cost to your group policy. More blogs to come for malpractice details.
As PAs continue to offer high-quality medical care for patients, partnering with the right physician for your practice needs is an important part of team-based care. Long-term, full adoption of OTP in all states will enable far more flexibility in PA practice, and reduce reliance on these narrow and potentially costly 1-to-1 physician/PA collaborative relationships. PAs must continue to drive this legislation forward at a state level while maintaining compliance with respect to current state rules and regulations. A challenging balance to strike, but essential!