How Much Should an Employer Give a Physician for CME Expenses?

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 has many benefits so read this article to learn more!

Continuing Education for Medical Providers

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.

What Expenses are Paid for?

  • Travel
  • Meals
  • Lodging
  • Conference Entrance Fees

How Much Will the Employer Pay for CME?

A recent survey revealed that employers often spend between $1500 to $4,000 per year in reimbursements for expenses.

Virtual Continuing Medical Education Conferences

Due to the recent pandemic, many continuing medical education conferences are being held entirely remotely which negates the need for travel reimbursements. 

State Licensing Board Requirements for Physicians

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 physician 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.

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 provider 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 doctor should not enter into any contract without having the agreement reviewed by legal counsel.

There is simply too much at risk for a doctor 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 provider, 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.

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?

Employment Agreement Checklist Including Signing Bonuses

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. Practice Services Offered: What are the clinical patient care duties? Are you given time for review of administrative tasks? How many patients are you expected to see (like in pediatrics)?
  2. Patient Care Schedule: What days and hours per week are you expected to provide patient care?  What is the surgery schedule? Are you involved in the planning of your schedule?
  3. Locations: Which facilities will you be scheduled to provide care at (outpatient clinic, surgical sites, in-patient services, etc.)?
  4. 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?
  5. Disability Insurance: Is disability insurance provided (short-term and long-term)?
  6. Medical License:  Will the practice offer reimbursement for your license? Will an advisor be provided?
  7. Practice Call Schedule: How often are you on call (after hours office call, hospital call (if applicable))?
  8. Electronic Medical Records (EMR): What EMR system is used in the practice of medicine? Will you receive training or time to review the system prior to providing care?
  9. 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?
  10. Productivity Compensation: If there is productivity compensation; how is it calculated (wRVU, net collections, patient encounters, etc.)? Is there an annual review?
  11. Practice Benefits Summary: Are standard benefits offered: health, vision, dental, life, retirement, etc.?  Who is the advisor of human resource benefits?
  12. 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?
  13. Continuing Medical Education (CME): What is the annual allowance for CME expenses and how much time off is offered?
  14. Dues and Fees: Which business financial expenses are covered (board licensing, DEA registration, privileging, AMA membership, Board review)?
  15. Relocation Assistance: Is relocation assistance offered? What are the repayment obligations if the Agreement is terminated prior to the expiration of the initial term?
  16. 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?
  17. Professional Liability Insurance: What type of liability insurance (malpractice) is offered: claims made, occurrence, self-insurance?
  18. Tail Insurance: If tail insurance is necessary, who is responsible to pay for it when the Agreement is terminated?
  19. Term: What is the length of the initial term? Does the Agreement automatically renew after the initial term?
  20. For Cause Termination: What are the grounds for immediate termination for cause?  Is a review provided to dispute the termination?
  21. Without Cause Termination: How much notice is required for either party to terminate the Agreement without case?
  22. Practice Post Termination Payment Obligations: Will you receive production bonuses after the Agreement is terminated?
  23. Non-Compete: How long does the non-compete last and what is the prohibited geographic scope?
  24. Financial Retirement:  Is a financial retirement plan offered?
  25. Non-Solicitation: How long does it last and does it cover employees, patients, and business associates?
  26. Notice: How is notice given? Via hand delivery, email, US mail, etc.?  Does it have to be provided to the employer’s attorney?
  27. Practice Assignment: Can the Agreement be assigned by the employer?
  28. Alternative Dispute Resolution: If there is a conflict regarding the contract, will mediation or arbitration process be utilized?  What is the standard attorney review process for conflict?  Who decides which attorney oversees the process?

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.

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