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How Much PTO Should a Physician Get from an Employer?

What is paid time off? Paid Time Off (PTO) refers to the amount of time a person has for taking off from work without being penalized. This typically includes vacations, holidays, and sick days. Physician PTO policies vary greatly as they are determined by employer discretion and union agreements. However, there are some key factors that all physician PTO policies should include: how much paid time off you get per year; what happens when you take a day or more of your paid time off; what happens if you’re using up your allotted days then go on vacation; and whether or not unused days carry over into other years.

  • What is the Physician PTO policy at your company?
  • What happens if you don’t use a day of paid time off before going on vacation and forget about it until after the fact?
  • Whether or not unused days carry over into other years.

Paid time off (“PTO”), is several days (within a calendar year) that an employee is entitled to be absent from work. While some have paid leave through the government or state law such as Workers’ Compensation, this type of pay is administered by the employer.  PTO refers to the time off accrued by an employee. The more hours they work, the more PTO hours they get paid for.

What factors are counted in PTO?

  • Vacation:  Hospitals and health networks generally offer more vacation (15) than smaller physician owned groups (10).
  • Sick Days:  Many times, this amount is mandated by State law.
  • Holidays:  Some organizations observe different holidays than others.  
  • Continuing Medical Education: Most employers give between 3-5 days off for CME participation.

Differences Between Private Practice vs. Hospital Employment

Most larger hospital network employers will offer accrual-based PTO.  Meaning the physician does not receive a chunk of paid time off at the beginning of each contract year; they accrue a set amount each pay period.  Private practice employers generally give time off without accrual factored in.

CME Time Off

In the medical field, it is important for physicians to continue their education by attending Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses. The cost of these courses can be a burden on an individual physician’s wallet. To reduce this burden, many employers will cover some or all of the cost of CMEs for its employees.

Continuing medical education (CME) is a type of continuing professional development that helps physicians stay up to date with the latest developments in their field. Continuing medical education can be done online, on site, or through other means such as books and journals. Continuing medical education is not just for physicians either; it also includes nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physical therapists and others who are professionals in healthcare fields. Continuing medical education can help people keep up-to-date on new treatments and technology while keeping them out of trouble when it comes to ethical issues within their profession.

Continuing Medical Education can help physicians keep up-to-date on new treatments and technology while keeping them out of trouble when it comes to ethical issues within their profession. Continuing Medical Education has many benefits so read this article to learn more!

As a doctor, you know the importance of continuing medical education in order to stay current with all of the latest advancements in your field. Continuing medical education can be done online, on site or through other means such as books and journals; some people might take courses that are offered by colleges where they can earn credits towards getting a degree if they want one. This is important not just for physicians but also nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physical therapists and others who are professionals in healthcare fields.

The requirements are variable but typically require 20 hours per year with many employers requiring more than 40 hours annually.

Credit for completed CME activities is often provided by a sponsoring organization. For example, a medical association will provide credit for time spent listening to presentations at their annual meeting – and this information can be used on the physician’s CV or in seeking out new employment opportunities with other organizations.

At a CME conference the physician will see many lectures and posters on different topics in his or her field. Continuing medical education is an opportunity to hear from experts about a topic that can be difficult to stay up-to-date with without reading extensively.

A conference may also have opportunities for networking, sharing experiences, discussing new developments in one’s practice area with other physicians who specialize in the same type of care as you do –

Most CME conferences offer more than just talks and posters: they often include hands-on workshops where participants learn how to apply important information learned during previous sessions; lunchtime discussion panels provide attendees the chance not only discuss what has been presented but also voice their opinions publicly for feedback; social events are another way that some organizations foster lasting relationships.

State Licensing Board Posts Requirements for CME

Each state licensing board requires certain Continuing Medical Education credits to be completed yearly in order for a physician’s license to stay valid. To get these Continuing Medical Education credits, physicians might have to do things like take courses on new medical developments or participate in activities that are supervised by the board of directors at their place of employment or volunteer work.

CME hours are reported on Continuing Medical Education (CME) certificates that can be printed and shared with employers. Continuing medical education is typically offered in a number of formats, including live events, online courses or webinars, journal articles, books, conference proceedings.

The physicians will need to report their CME credits earned according to the guidelines set forth by their state board. A physician may choose from one format for completion such as attending two lectures at an annual meeting while another might prefer completing twelve three-minute videos over six months time period; these options reflect different levels of learning intensity, but both would qualify as reporting 12 hours for this example year since they represent equivalent academic value.

Time Off and Covid

In the wake of COVID-19, many employers are struggling with how to keep their employees working amid pandemic fears. We have covered some possible options for avoiding layoffs or furloughs: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and local/state laws that provide incentives for employers who want to retain workers during a time when it is not clear if there will be any new cases in this area. No one knows what might happen once we get out from under this terrifying pandemic but hopefully these measures can help us ride through until things settle down again!

In the event of COVID-19 pandemic, employers need to remain mindful that a time will come when they’ll have no choice but to let employees go. As such, it’s important for companies and organizations alike not only plan ahead so there are sufficient funds in place during this difficult period; we also encourage them put together an employee retention strategy now before any layoffs or furloughs take effect later on down the road.

Employers must account for both financial issues relating back to funding as well as consider how best handle their work force should one be forced into dismissing staff due foreign contracts drying up from being cancelled all because of COVID-19 pandemic fears sweeping through society like wildfire.

Some employers worry about how their policies will be affected by the pandemic. Employers should consider whether they can and should make adjustments to account for post-pandemic business needs, such as a shorter work week or taking more time off than usual in case of illness. While an employer may not feel comfortable with giving employees additional paid leave right now, it is worth considering what changes need to happen if your company survives the outbreak without being too negatively impacted financially on top of potentially losing many human resources due to illness during that period.

Paid Holidays

The United States has a lot of holidays celebrated by American workers. With so many options, it can be tough for employers to figure out which ones they should observe with paid time off and how best to handle the situation within their PTO policy. Some are recognized at federal levels such as Christmas Eve or New Year’s Day while others like Labor day might only apply in certain states but some businesses choose not to provide any type of holiday observance because they have clients who work 24/7 year round!

Small business owners are faced with a difficult decision: how to balance their employees’ demands for time off and the need to keep costs down.

A lot of factors should go into your company’s decision of which holidays should be paid days off, such as which ones your employees really want off and how offering them will impact your bottom line.

In the United States, there are a number of days designated as “federal holidays,” which means that all government agencies and banks have to be closed for business. Some private sector businesses may choose to remain open on these public holidays, but they aren’t required by law. The federal government hopes non-government companies will observe this holiday too – it’s not illegal!

There are 10 federal holidays that government agencies and banks close their doors for each year. Many private companies also grant paid time off to employees on these days, treating them like any other day of the week in terms of scheduling.

Although it is usually up to individual employers whether they want or need people working during bank holiday weekends (such as Labor Day), most will give a four-day weekend so workers can enjoy all three days with family members or friends without having work obligations hanging over one’s head.

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Presidents Day (Washington’s Birthday)
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day (Fourth of July)
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day

Many people are unaware that there is a wide variety of state-specific holidays. The list includes the 10 federal holidays, but also varies from one region to another and can include as many as 14 in some states! One example of this is New Jersey where each city has its own set which ranges between 4 and 11 days per year depending on location.

Public holiday laws for individual cities or regions vary widely by jurisdiction; California’s public sector employees have an average of nine designated paid leave days annually while Illinois’ totals only six–not including typical vacation time allotted during working years.

Physician Contract Review

Contracts are a pervasive and obligatory part of nearly all business and legal transactions. Well-drafted contracts help to enumerate the responsibilities of the involved parties, divide liabilities, protect legal rights, and insure future relationship statuses. These touchstones are even more crucial when applying their roles to the case of a physician employed by a hospital, medical group, or other health care provider. While contract drafting and negotiation can be a long and arduous process, legal representation is a must in order to ensure that your rights are being protected.

The present-day conclusion is simple: A physician should not enter into any contract without having the agreement reviewed by legal counsel.

There is simply too much at risk for a physician to take contract matters into their own hands. In addition to the specific professional implications, contract terms can significantly impact a physician’s family, lifestyle, and future. There are many important contract terms and clauses which can present complex and diverse issues for any physician, including:

  • Non-compete clauses
  • Damages
  • Indemnification
  • Verbal guarantees
  • Insurance statements

Additionally, often times the most influential terms and clauses in any employment contract are the ones that are not present. With the advent of productivity based employment agreements it is imperative that any physician have an employment agreement reviewed before it is executed. Attorney Robert Chelle has practical experience drafting and reviewing physician contracts for nearly every specialty.

New residents, attending physicians, doctors entering into their first employment contract or established physicians looking for new employment can all benefit from a thorough contract review. By employing an experienced attorney for your representation, you can insure that you will be able to fully understand the extensive and complex wording included in your contract. By having a full and complete understanding of the contract, you will be in a better position to make your own decision on whether or not you want to enter into the agreement which will affect your career life for years to come.

The financial benefits gained from having your contract reviewed and negotiated by an experienced healthcare attorney far outweigh the costs associated with a review. You are a valuable resource, and you should be treated and respected as such. Attorney Robert Chelle will personally dedicate his time to make sure that your are fully protected and will assist you in the contract process so that your interests are fairly represented.

Contract Checklist for Physicians

Every physician contract is unique.  However, nearly all contracts for health care providers should contain several essential terms.  If these essential terms in the contract are not spelled out in contracts, disputes can arise when there is a disagreement between the parties as to the details of the specific term.  For instance, if the doctor is expecting to work  Monday through Thursday and the employer is expecting the provider to work Monday through Friday, but the specific workdays are absent from the Agreement; who prevails?

Spelling out the details of your job is crucial to avoid contract conflicts during the term of your employment.  Below is a checklist of essential terms that contracts should contain (and a brief explanation of each term):

  1. Outside Activities: Are you permitted to pursue moonlighting or locum tenens opportunities? Do you need permission from the employer before you accept those practice of medicine related positions?
  2. Practice Call Schedule: How often are you on call (after hours office call, hospital call (if applicable))?
  3. Base Compensation: What is the annual base salary? What is the pay period frequency?  Does the base compensation increase over the term of the Agreement? Is there an annual review or quarterly review of compensation?
  4. Productivity Compensation: If there is productivity compensation; how is it calculated (wRVU, net collections, patient encounters, etc.)? Is there an annual review?
  5. Paid Time Off: How much time off does the job offer? What is the split between vacation, sick days, CME attendance and holidays?  Is there a HR guide?
  6. Dues and Fees: Which business financial expenses are covered (board licensing, DEA registration, privileging, AMA membership, Board review)?
  7. Relocation Assistance: Is relocation assistance offered? What are the repayment obligations if the Agreement is terminated prior to the expiration of the initial term?
  8. Signing Bonus: Is an employee signing bonus offered? When is it paid?  Do you have to pay it back if you leave before the initial term is completed? Are student loans paid back?  Is there a forgiveness period for student loans?
  9. Professional Liability Insurance: What type of liability insurance (malpractice) is offered: claims made, occurrence, self-insurance?
  10. Tail Insurance: If tail insurance is necessary, who is responsible to pay for it when the Agreement is terminated?
  11. Without Cause Termination: How much notice is required for either party to terminate the Agreement without case?
  12. Non-Compete: How long does the non-compete last and what is the prohibited geographic scope?
  13. Non-Solicitation: How long does it last and does it cover employees, patients, and business associates?

If you have questions about claims-made or occurrence coverage and your current malpractice insurance or are interested in having your employment agreement reviewed contact Chelle Law today.