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Same Job, Change in Employer, need advice

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Hi All,


I apologize in advance for the length of this post.


I am currently employed by a hospital (as a trauma PA), but because my SPs are all privately employed, I am unable to bill. For that reason, my employment will soon be changing so that I will be employed by a large physician group instead of the hospital. I am nervous about this switch. In my current job, I have no contract, so I am looking forward to having a contract with this physician group. However, I am nervous about negotiating benefits and salary for a job I already hold, when I essentially have no say in the change (other than my option of leaving my current position, which I do not want to do). I am trying to prepare myself for the upcoming switch, and meeting with the physician group to negotiate contract. I have a few questions.


Background Info: I graduated in Dec 2009 from PA school. I live and am employed in Northeast Ohio at a Level 1 trauma center and I am currently the only "midlevel provider" on the trauma service, though they will be hiring 2 more in the near future. I have been in my current position (1st job) since March 2010. I started at 72,900 and am now at 75,000, with the increase coming from a "pay for performance" raise, which is the same % for all hospital employees based on hospital-wide performance measures. I had a verbal agreement from my former dept. mananger (who has now left that position) that I would be given $1200 yearly for CME, and $1000 yearly for liscensure, professional memberships, etc. Malpractice covered by hospital.


Some comments: I now feel stupid that CME and licensure, etc. allowances are not in writing anywhere, as the individual who made that agreement with me is no longer employed here and cannot vouch for me that this was true. I can only attribute this to being "green" and simply excited at the time that I was able to negotiate for and receive benefits that were not initially offered to me. I have learned from this mistake and won't make it again. In my defense, I did ask about a contract at the time the job was offered and was told the hospital system did not offer contracts, only offer letters. I have been told by an SP, that the group usually makes "fair" offers from what he has heard and observed, but he also said they generally look at the median salary from some metric (unknown source) and offer 80% of that. Based on AAPA salary data, that figure is less than what I currently make.



Would you try to negotiate a higher salary during contract negotiations or just stay at the same salary I am at now with yearly evaluation and consideration for salary increase? On what basis should salary increase be made? Most of my job is inpatient care and will be billed as a "shared visit" under the SP. I have no idea how much money I will bring in as we don't currently bill for my services.


I am planning on presenting AAPA census data on fringe benefits and asking for $1500 for CME and asking that they pay all licensure fees, memberships to state, national, and specialty organizations, and 1 week of paid CME time per year. I would also like 4 weeks vacation, 1 week sick time, and paid holidays. Any other advice for negotiating fringe benefits? Anything else you would ask for?


I think I would be wise to have a lawyer review my contract. Agree?


Any other advice for me in this situation? How can I best use this situation to my advantage? What should I be sure is included/not included in the contract?


Thanks in advance for your help!

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Don't forget about malpractice (with tail coverage) and the schedule (you want this in writing for sure).


As for salary: you know the guys you work with and they know you. Presuming they want to keep you around they know that money talks... It won't offend to ask for more... In fact now is a good time to bring up pay. It needs to be in the contract and should be discussed out in the open...


Going to a lawyer (IMHO) is like going to the ER... if it crosses your mind, it's time to go...

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