The creation of these “Guidelines for Physician Remuneration”evolved from the concern expressed by Sport Medicine physicians that our expert medical services are expected to be provided on a voluntary basis. Historically (prior to the creation of C.A.S.E.M.) physicians were retained by the various sport governing bodies to provide medical coverage for their athletes while training and competing. Physicians were happy being part of a sport community that provided opportunities such as international travel and exposure to world-class athletes. More recently Sport has become much more complex; the number of events requiring our services is more numerous, the diversity of international venues experienced and the lack of malpractice insurance liability due to high incomes of professional athletes . Teams are now made up of not only coaches, but exercise physiologists, strength and conditioning coaches, sport psychologists, nutritionists and various therapists (AT, PT, RMT, DC). In fact many “amateur” sports are not really amateur anymore; they require the specialized commitment only a Sport Medicine physician can provide.
With the creation of CASEM and the training of physicians to be experts in the field of Sport Medicine we began to see ourselves as resources with a specific value and specialized expertise Many physicians now feel that they should be paid to coordinate the complex care of today’s athletes, especially when one considers the medico-legal risk associated currently with this care.
This is not to say that Sport Medicine physicians should not volunteer to look after amateur athletes or cover local events. The long tradition of volunteerism should not be lost; however, many of us are uncertain about what our services are worth when there is an opportunity for financial reimbursement to provide Sport Medicine services. The purpose of these guidelines is to help the CASEM. members define the value of these services. Additionally, use of these guidelines will help increase the sport communities’ awareness of the value of our expertise and care, thereby increasing the number of physician reimbursement opportunities.
These guidelines have been developed by committee and from input of some of the CASEM membership (opinions were collected via the List-Serve). Subsequently, the results of a survey sent to all CASEM members indicated that the majority of those who responded felt that guidelines should be put in place.