Guidance and Instructions for PCA Worksheet Preparation
These instructions cover all agencies employing physicians eligible for physicians’ comparability allowance (PCA) payments. This includes (1) agencies with currently approved PCA plans eligible to pay PCA, whether or not they actually provide PCA, and (2) agencies without approved plans employing physicians eligible for PCA. PCA-reporting agencies with organizational components employing more than 100 physicians who received PCA payments in FY 2010 must submit separate reports by component (using the PCA worksheet), in addition to a composite report for the entire department or agency.
Agencies only need to report for FY 2010. Agencies are not required to project into the next fiscal year. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org addressed to the attention of Lisa Dismond to obtain a copy of an Excel spreadsheet that is pre-formatted to accept the data we are requesting. The Excel spreadsheet may be transmitted to you only by e-mail. Please verify that your agency’s FY 2010 figures in the worksheet are correct before submitting to OPM.
The data requested should be supplied for all Federal physicians eligible for PCA, and as a subset, all Federal physicians actually receiving PCA. Eligibility for PCA is defined in 5 U.S.C. 5948 and 5 CFR part 595.
Several sections of the worksheet call for data by physician category. Some agencies may not employ physicians in all categories, but complete data should be provided for those physician categories applicable to the agency.
Government Physician: Section 5948(g)(1) of title 5, United States Code, defines Government physician as any individual employed as a physician or dentist who is paid under: the General Schedule; the Senior Executive Service; section 5371, relating to certain health care positions; Tennessee Valley Authority Act; Foreign Service Act; Central Intelligence Agency Act; section 1202 of the Panama Canal Act of 1979; section 2 of the National Security Act of May 29, 1959; section 5376 of title 5 relating to certain senior-level positions; section 5377 of title 5 relating to critical positions; or subchapter IX of chapter 53 of title 5 relating to special occupational pay systems.
Creditable Federal Service: For purposes of PCA payment calculations under 5 U.S.C. 5948, creditable Federal service includes service as a Government physician in any of the pay systems established under authorities listed immediately above, as well as service as a physician in the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
The head of each agency must determine categories of physician positions for which there is a significant recruitment and retention problem. A PCA may be paid only to physicians serving in positions in one of the categories. In determining the categories the agency must, as a minimum, establish as separate categories the following types of positions:
I Clinical: Positions primarily involving the practice of medicine or direct service to patients, involving the performance of diagnostic, preventive, or therapeutic services to patients in hospitals, clinics, public health programs, diagnostic centers, and similar settings.
II Research: Positions primarily involving the conduct of medical research and experimental work, including the conduct of medical work pertaining to food, drugs, cosmetics, and devices (or the review or evaluation of such medical research and experimental work), or the identification of causes or sources of disease or disease outbreaks.
III Occupational Health: Positions primarily involving the evaluation of physical fitness, or the provision of initial treatment of on-the-job illness or injury, or the performance of preemployment examinations, preventive health screenings, or fitness-for-duty examinations.
IV-A Disability Evaluation: Positions involving disability evaluation and rating, the performance of medicolegal autopsies, and training activities.
IV-B Administration of Health and Medical Programs: The administration of medical and health programs, including the administration of patient care or medical research and experimental programs.
(1) Total Number Employed: The total number of agency physicians eligible for PCA (includes all eligible physicians, whether or not they actually received PCA payments) should be supplied for FY 2010 in Part I. The total number of agency physicians actually receiving PCA should be supplied for FY 2010 in Part II. The same data should be provided by physician category for FY 2010.
(2) Number of Physicians Signing 1-Year and Multi-Year PCA Service Agreements: Under the PCA program, physicians may elect to sign a 1-year or multi-year PCA service agreement. For those physicians actually receiving PCA (Part II), the number of physicians signing 1-year and multi-year agreements should be supplied for FY 2010.
(3) Average Compensation per Physician: Average annual compensation per physician should exclude the PCA payment, but include base pay and all other bonuses and incentives (such as recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives) and awards. The average compensation for agency physicians eligible for PCA should be supplied for FY 2010 in Part I. The average compensation for agency physicians actually receiving PCA should be supplied for FY 2010 in Part II. The same data should also be provided by physician category for FY 2010.
(4) Average PCA Amount per Physician, by Category: The average annual PCA paid per physician for all categories, as well as for each individual category of physician, should be supplied for FY 2010 in Part II.
(5) Average PCA Amount per Physician, by Length of Service Agreement: The average annual PCA paid per physician should be supplied for physicians with a 1-year service agreement and multi-year service agreement and for FY 2010 in Part II.
(6) Average PCA Amount per Physician, by Length of Federal Service: The average annual PCA paid per physician with (a) less than 2 years creditable Federal service, and (b) 2 or more years creditable Federal service, should be supplied for FY 2010 in Part II.
(7) Number and Rate of Accessions: The total number of accessions and accession rates for all eligible physicians (Part I) and for those receiving PCA (Part II) should be supplied for FY 2010. The number of accessions by category should also be supplied. Accession rates are expressed in percentages as the total number of accessions divided by the total number of physicians (both those eligible for PCA and those receiving PCA). Accession rates need not be supplied for each physician category.
(8) Number and Rate of Separations: The total number of separations and separation rates for all eligible physicians (Part I) and for those receiving PCA (Part II) should be supplied for FY 2010. The number of separations by category should also be supplied. Separation rates are expressed in percentages as the total number of separations divided by the total number of physicians (both those eligible for PCA and those receiving PCA). Separation rates need not be supplied for each physician category.
(9) Number and Rate of Unfilled Full-Time Equivalent Physician Positions: The number should be equivalent to the total number of physician positions for which the agency has budgeted for FY 2010 less the number of physicians on-board during the fiscal year. For example, the agency may have budgeted for 12 full-time equivalent physician positions for FY 2010, but had only 9.5 physicians on-board for the entire fiscal year (9 physicians on-board the entire fiscal year and 1 on-board for 6 months of the fiscal year). The number of unfilled full-time equivalent physician positions in this case is equal to 2.5.
The total number for all eligible physicians (Part I) and for those receiving PCA (Part II) should be supplied for FY 2010. The number by category should also be supplied.
The rates of total unfilled physician positions should be furnished. Using the example in the paragraph above, the rate of unfilled positions would be 21 percent (or 2.5 unfilled positions divided by 12 positions). Unfilled rates need not be supplied by physician category.
(10) Average Length of Time Physician Positions Remained Unfilled: The time should be reported in months as of the end FY 2010. Only the time during which the agency was actively searching for candidates should be counted. The total number for all eligible physicians (Part I) and for those receiving PCA (Part II) should be supplied FY 2010. The number by category should also be supplied.