For better or worse, the world of locum tenens staffing is changing more rapidly than ever before.
Utilizing multiple locum agencies with individual contacts for each specialty can easily become overwhelming and impossible to manage. Due in part to a lack of advancement and modernization in locum tenens staffing over the last decade, many organizations are now seeking new ways to streamline the process.
Banner Health, regarded and recognized as a top health system in the country for the clinical quality consistently provided to patients in its hospitals, is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. The non-profit health system operates 30 hospitals, including three academic medical centers and other related health entities and services in six states. With over 52,000 employees and 5,000 providers, Banner Health is Arizona's largest private health system and the third largest employer in the Northern Colorado front-range area.
The world of locum tenens is changing at a pace that most, if not all of us, probably have not seen in our careers. We are seeing many statements or surveys that show that upwards of 40-50%+ of all physicians and providers are doing or open to locums/moonlighting work, 30-40%+ are moving to a locums lifestyle for a work life balance or to supplement their income, and that certain specialties are seeing spikes in utilization so are creating crisis level coverage issues driving department/unit closures or diversion of services.
In the past decades, the healthcare industry as a whole has seen unprecedented labor shortages, which were greatly exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. With record rates of burnout, the Great Resignation, and other factors seemingly outside of the industry's control, healthcare facilities have turned toward locum tenens to fill the gaps.
It's no secret that healthcare organizations have had the need for quick, efficient staffing solutions, even before the pandemic started. While coronavirus certainly put extra strain on these systems as well — between the "Great Resignation", unprecedented rates of burnout, and more — healthcare organizations have been struggling to attract and retain the talent that they need to provide quality patient care and improve patient outcomes, including in pediatrics. In fact, nationally, around 80% of pediatric hospital beds were occupied as of late October 2022.
As the Director of Physician Recruitment at one of the largest health systems in Greater Baltimore, Devyn Kern has a lot on her plate. The ongoing physician shortage makes her job at LifeBridge Health increasingly difficult, and the steady flow of physician job requisitions on her desk takes every ounce of her attention. When temporary needs arise, this too falls to Devyn and her department of two, but with no bandwidth to address the needs and no process to follow, the task is often delegated to hiring managers, who contact any number of locum staffing agencies for assistance.
Are you paying market rates for Locums? Or are you overpaying? If you are negotiating rates with agencies individually and without the benefit of a competitive process you are most likely overpaying. The reality is that most health systems do not do a great job ensuring that they are competitive in the marketplace and not being overcharged for fees and conversions.
Updated October 2023
What Is an MSP in Staffing?
Generally speaking, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is an agency that specializes in outsourcing certain operations in order to cut costs and improve performance for organizations. MSPs act as an alternative to the on-demand outsourcing and the break/fix outsourcing models. While on-demand and break/fix models bill the customer when work is done, MSP takes a more holistic approach and works under a subscription model.
Determining market equilibrium pricing can be complex, but it doesn't have to be. Healthcare Workforce Logistics (HWL) is uniquely positioned to act as an honest broker for our clients. Unlike an agency-managed MSP program, we offer the ability to have one set rate with all vendors, tiered rate structures, or individual rates with each agency. We also monitor and assess agencies’ performance on an on-going basis and continuously monitor market pricing to achieve cost reductions on locums, nursing, and allied health professionals.
Nursing and allied health professional wages vary not only among states and cities but also among clinical specialties, certifications, roles, and practice environments. Coupled with the laborious task of managing multiple contract labor agencies, it can be a frustrating recruitment process. The crux of the matter is how do you acquire top temporary talent seamlessly and without overpaying? And how do you uncover if your organization is overpaying in the first place?
Locum tenens healthcare providers can be lifesavers for organizations who need additional providers, even though they come with a higher price tag than fully employed providers. Given an aging population and an aging physician workforce, the need for Locums is expected to continue to climb.
HWL is offering healthcare delivery organizations a rapid response staffing program designed to meet the urgent staffing needs that may be driven by increased demand for healthcare professionals and shortages of core staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With 30,00 colleagues serving 185 towns and cities and 360 locations, Hartford HealthCare is one of the Northeast's largest healthcare networks. In addition to operating the state's largest behavioral health network Hartford HealthCare provides a large multispecialty physician group that continues to grow rapidly.
America's healthcare system has its foot stuck on a train track and the evening express is hurtling down the track.
For decades, legacy MSP and VMS providers have offered solutions to manage contingent labor that have led to ever increasing rates and utilization.
HWL offers a new alternative to better manage contingent labor and improve direct hire recruitment. Through a combination of proprietary next generation technology and customizable managed services, HWL delivers a vendor neutral Total Talent Acquisition solution that lowers overall labor costs while reducing administrative burden.
THE DAYS OF SMARTER LOCUM AGENCY MANAGEMENT HAVE ARRIVED
Managing multiple Locums agencies can be a time consuming and frustrating process. And with email and phone-based communication, tracking your progress, managing costs against budget, and gaining visibility into quality and performance metrics is nearly impossible. That is why many health systems reduce the number of agencies they work with. There just isn't enough time in the day. The result? Fewer providers hear about you, less competition for your business, higher rates and fees, less overall choice.