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Compensation Arrangements for Emergency Physicians

Revised April 2015, April 2002, June 1997     

Reaffirmed October 2008, April 1992     

Originally approved June 1988


The American College of Emergency Physicians supports the following general principles for compensation arrangements for emergency physicians.  

  • ACEP recognizes that emergency physicians practice under a variety of compensation arrangements, e.g., independent contractor, fee for service, salary, hourly compensation, percentage of gross or net billing, or a combination of these.  
  • ACEP recognizes that quality emergency medical care is provided by physicians under different methods of compensation. Specific arrangements may also include performance incentives based on measures such as productivity, patient experience 1, and other measurable variables.  
  • ACEP recommends that emergency physicians receive timely feedback on any performance-based measures used to determine compensation.  
  • Regardless of the compensation method or practice arrangement, emergency physicians are entitled to fair and equitable compensation, taking into account their experience and added value to the practice, market conditions, and other appropriate circumstances.  
  • Emergency physicians should understand their employment agreements and should consider obtaining review by legal counsel prior to signing a contract.  
  • Exploitation of emergency physicians by other emergency physicians or health care entities is improper. ACEP strongly urges each emergency physician to carefully evaluate any health care delivery system or arrangement that might unfairly profit from the professional services of the emergency physician.  

 1   See 2016 "Patient Experience of Care Surveys" policy statement.

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