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How standardizing contracts and process drives efficiency and savings



I have been fortunate to be the lead Account Manager for a great client that proves that with good technology and sound best practices even large geographically dispersed organizations can achieve standardization in contracts, process, quality, and reporting with their Locums agencies.

With more than 15,000 beds in more than 35 states, my client provides behavioral health and addiction services to patients in a variety of settings including inpatient psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment centers, outpatient clinics and therapeutic school-based programs.


Prior to engaging with us they were like many large systems with different contracts with multiple vendors, overlapping  manual processes, and almost no ability to track costs and utilization.

  • Approximately $5MM spend on locums per year.
  • Highly decentralized process with agencies negotiating individual contracts with each facility resulting in inconsistent requirements across the system and different rules of engagement with each agency.
  • Utilization and price negotiations conducted at the facility level.
  • Both corporate recruiters and facility CEOs were constantly solicited by agencies to drive more locum usage.
  • Massive inconsistencies in the level of pre-screening conducted by agencies.


  • Client was dependent on specialized/high demand locum physicians and mid-level providers to ensure continuity of patient care when internal resources were not available.
  • There were complex rate schedules and rules of engagement with no existing standardization of rate cards.
  • A decentralized accountability structure with P&L at the individual facility level (CEOs).
  • No existing contractual relationship between the client corporate and vendors/agencies (all contracting was at the local level and with a limited number of suppliers).
  • No common requirements for initial screening of candidates and lack of accountability on agencies for pre-screening.
  • Fear that imposing a structured management solution on a traditionally fluid process would lead to less supply and increased stress on staff.


Through a combination of highly specialized Locums VMS technology and proactive contract and rate plan management strategies we were able to provide a more efficient process for locums management that resulted in significant cost savings, improved fill rates, and higher quality of staff.

We implemented a talent management philosophy that supports an open marketplace sourcing process giving all locums agencies an equal opportunity to fill open orders at a market rate where there is no fear of candidate poaching.

During this process we managed the contracting process on client’s behalf to onboard existing suppliers and expand vendor panel to support the program.

In addition we empowered CEOs to negotiate rates within established rate parameters in the system and capture negotiation details in assignment agreements.

We also provided dedicated subject matter experts (that's me) to provide day-to-day oversight and support for the CEOs, corporate program management staff and medical staffing offices.

As part of the solution we worked with the client to establish standard candidate requirements and system pre-screening tools which led to greater consistency across the organization.

Our proprietary VMS customized workflows to restrict low value agency interactions (solicitation, marketing, etc.) while retaining critical communication channels for candidate management (important for successful locums placements).

Locums MSP Case Study

In the end, the client couldn't be happier with the outcomes we collectively achieved.
"Healthcare Workforce Logistics simplified the locum recruitment process through use of their online system, which allowed us to efficiently fill open locum requisitions with quality, pre-screened candidates" Interim CEO, Ron Mays, for Riverwoods Behavioral Hospital and Desert Hills Behavioral Hospital



  • Launched MSP solution June, 2017
  • 25+ agencies engaged as suppliers to MSP, doubling the size of the vendor panel
  • 95% fill rate on orders managed since launch
  • Higher quality of staff
  • More Efficient process
  • Real time dashboard and reports
  • Greater visibility into spend + utilization

Having been in the Locum industry for over seven years I can appreciate the challenges that health systems face when dealing with multiple Locum agencies and decentralized processes. We here at HWL bring a technology platform, Workforce Solutions and a set of proven best practices that empower you to gain better control and become more efficient and with greater outcomes. We would like to do the same for you! Don't wait, reach out today and schedule a demo to learn more about how you can achieve similar outcomes.

Schedule a Demo

 Or you can email us at info@hwlmsp.com

August 23, 2018/By Trevor Strauss, FACHE
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Author: Trevor Strauss, FACHE

Trevor Strauss serves as a Vice President for HWL and has been designing new solutions and driving go to market strategy within healthcare workforce and human capital delivery for organizations since 2008. His expertise comes from having lead deal teams from inception through implementation across the entire labor continuum from search to enterprise-wide workforce and technology solutions. His passion is helping organizations reposition themselves to create the future they desire to meet their operational and financial goals, while ensuring patient care delivery. He received his BS from Lock Haven University, MBA from East Carolina University, and is Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is based out of Atlanta, GA and can be reached at tstrauss@hwlworks.com or 770-298-0122.
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