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  • Avatar BlueCollarMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 19
    Joined: 08/20/2018

    If they can subpoena you, then you have some connection to the case and in theory bear some risk.

    Notify your malpractice carrier, and have their lawyer handle the arrangements.  Otherwise you might be exposing yourself to a risk you don’t know about.  Probably not, but this service is free (paid for by your premiums) and they would much rather do this than end up with a claim against you.

    The fee is up to you; they can’t really negotiate with you unless it is unreasonable.  Your hourly fee plus some overhead amount.  Include prep for deposition, an all of your time.

    For the deposition, you can charge a higher rate.  I usually charge a flat fee for up to 4 hours (they rarely take this long), and do not charge for local travel; make it equivalent to a day’s work, because it is.  Also the reporter will usually provide the opportunity to review/edit the deposition transcript, which is probably worth doing.

    Make up a fee schedule and send it to them.  Include your hourly rate for review of records and travel time (make sure you add in all your correspondence and hassle time when calculating your bill), as well as your deposition fee.

    You can usually pick the location.  Talk it over with your lawyer.  You might be more comfortable not in your office. There is a small law firm walking distance from my house that I often specify.  Lawyers rent their conference rooms to each other and assembling the personnel for a deposition is normal for them.

    Bill them for the prep before the deposition and let them know you expect payment for the prep and the deposition prior to starting the proceedings.  This is TOTALLY NORMAL, so don’t flinch about saying this.

    in reply to: Deposition Fee Schedule #152939 Reply
    Avatar BlueCollarMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 19
    Joined: 08/20/2018

    I have done this for a number of years.  Like you, it started with an unsolicited email.  In the beginning it was mostly plaintiff’s attorneys.  I am scrupulously fair minded and focus heavily on data to support my opinions–using facts from the case and the literature.  Good plaintiff’s attorneys take good cases, i.e. consequential medical errors, and they appreciate well grounded opinions. Some plaintiff’s attorneys are not looking for this approach and come with an opinion they want you to articulate. In a couple of cases I could see the whole claim as bogus and have sent back the materials to the attorney with no charge.  I am now contacted mostly by defense firms who have previously deposed me, and have worked for several many times.  Because I was getting to busy with this side work I raised my fees enough that it has probably reduced my volume, and I am good with that.

    I have gone against the usual wisdom and have never asked for a retainer.  I haven’t been bitten yet, but I mostly work for established firms.

    Most of the time my involvement is limited to reviewing the case.  In maybe half I do some additional research or make a declaration.  In maybe 10% a deposition.  I have testified in a few trials.  The depositions and trial testifying is not fun, but you kind of sign up for it when you agree to review a case.  Also my fees for testimony are high enough that it eases the pain.

    Independent medical exams is kind of a different sideline, and could work if you are interested an have a private practice.  I am employed so the hassle factor for this would be too much and I am not interested.

     

    in reply to: Solicited to be an Expert Witness – is it worth it? #152581 Reply
    Avatar BlueCollarMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 19
    Joined: 08/20/2018

    I wouldn’t automatically assume the worst, but you need more details.  Here are some things to ask

    1. Ask them for the MGMA numbers for your specialty, median wRVU and $/wRVU

    2. Understand how many wRVU you will be able to generate.  Hopefully you have an idea from your current coding.  Ask about the other employed physicians in your specialty.

    3. Understand what the “retirement increment” means and what you would need to do to get it.

    4. Understand the procedure for resolving disagreements about your compensation and other contract issues; understand how you leave the organization on good terms if you become unhappy. Understand the non-competition clause, if any

    5. Consider having a lawyer or other professional review your compensation plan

    6. Always, always have an attorney review and explain the fine print before signing.

    Congratulations on your position.

    Avatar BlueCollarMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 19
    Joined: 08/20/2018

    Administrators come and go.  Make sure you are sensitive to any impact on your colleagues and supporters.

    Have a succinct explanation for your needs, including your sincere efforts to satisfy them at your current hospital.  The CEO’s name should be (gently) attached  to your decision.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: Employed physician scope of practice being limited #145388 Reply
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