Job Description: Medical Director

June 08, 2017

Job description: Medical Director

By Madeline Hyden

The role physicians play in the nonclinical setting is becoming more complex as the medical practice landscape evolves.

MGMA compiled lists of job functions, duties and responsibilities, and compensation considerations to help physicians put together medical director’s job description.

Main functions of a Medical Director:

  • Holds the senior medical administrative position in a medical group practice
  • Responsible for a number of activities related to the delivery of medical care and clinical services such as cost management, utilization review, quality assurance, and medical protocol development
  • Oversees the activities of group physicians, including the recruiting and credentialing processes
  • Reports to the physician CEO/president and/or to the governing body of the organization

All of these administrative services are covered under the most basic medical director policy and it is important to find a policy that can travel with you. In other words, one policy can cover multiple contracts.

Directorship duties and responsibilities:

  • Attend standing meetings (board, committee, etc.)
  • Develop and manage a budget, including presenting monthly financial reports to practice staff with the support of administration
  • Monitor quality and appropriateness of medical care
  • Provide guidance and leadership for performance guidelines
  • Develop policies and procedures
  • Manage strategic development
  • Oversee clinical peer review
  • Oversee documentation and care planning
  • Manage physician relations and/or representation
  • Handle clinical patient complaints
  • Address emergency issues
  • Support physician education
  • Manage community relations
  • Handle physician behavior and impairment issues

These job responsibilities all fall within the broad category of administrative medical director responsibilities which are covered by this basic level of medical director liability policy.

According to the MGMA Medical Directorship and On-Call Compensation Survey: 2012 Report Based on 2011 Data, nearly 11 percent more medical directors reported handling "quality and appropriateness of care" as part of their duties and responsibilities

15 percent more medical directors said they engage in strategic development

12 percent more said they provide guidance and leadership for performance guidelines

14 percent more handle physician relations and/or representation

The cost of this basic medical director liability policy ranges from $2000-$3000 annual and will cover you at more than one location. This is a fairly consistent premium, regardless of what state or states are providing services.

Indirect Patient Care - Supervision

Premium for a medical director special liability insurance policy increases when the contract requires that you supervise other healthcare providers, medical doctors, or mid-level providers. Consider the base cost to increase by approximately 1000 per year.

Medical Directors Liability Insurance when you are also providing Direct Patient Care

And on a higher level of medical director contract you will be required not only to supervise and also to actually interact provide medical care direct patient care. This can even be the case in a Mehdi spa requires consultations when there are adverse reactions to laser or injectables if this is frequent enough stipulated in the contract cost will be closer to 5000 and annual premium and will require full underwriting and review of your current insurance company claims experience.

Medical Director Compensation:

The majority of medical directors represented in the MGMA Medical Directorship and On-Call Compensation Survey: 2012 Report Based on 2011 Data were paid a specified amount on top of their annual physician compensation because the majority of their time was spent on clinical, non-administrative duties. In large practices or systems, medical directors may spend most of their time in an administrative capacity. In turn, their directorship compensation is commensurate with these functions. Depending on your group’s specialty and the scope of responsibility, a medical director may receive a monthly stipend, an hourly rate or an annual compensation.

The amount of time spent on directorship activities also affects compensation. Nearly 50 percent of survey respondents indicated they spent fewer than six hours per week on directorship activities, according to the MGMA Medical Directorship and On-Call Compensation Survey: 2012 Report Based on 2011 Data. The survey report also shows that median compensation increased as directorship duties consumed more of a physician’s time. For example, a medical director may receive an additional compensation of $9,000 for two hours per week or less of directorship duties vs. $20,000 for three to five hours per week of directorship duties.

For more information on job descriptions, search the libraries in the MGMA Member Community for example job descriptions and to exchange ideas with your peers.