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Paying Too Much for Contingent Nursing & 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?


Ask for a Market Rate Analysis

If you are negotiating rates with agencies individually and without the benefit of a competitive process for nursing and allied health professionals, you’re most likely overpaying. The reality is that most health systems do not excel at ensuring a competitive rate in the marketplace and often are overcharged for fees and conversions.

A market-rate analysis is a valuable tool in your arsenal—it relies on data from several sources to provide rates by specialty. In addition, the rates include a combination of local, regional, and national variances. Unlike an agency-managed MSP program, Healthcare Workforce Logistics (HWL) offers the ability to have one set rate with all vendors, tiered rate structures, or individual rates with each agency.  HWL also monitors and assesses the performance of agencies on an ongoing basis and continuously monitors market pricing. As such, we can make recommendations for periodic adjustments to rates up or down, based on data and analytics that are not biased by any single agency.


Invest in a Transparent Vendor Management System (VMS)

There are many disadvantages to managing vendors independently and without a robust VMS and managed service provider (MSP). Email and phone-based communication use valuable time and any attempt to gain visibility into quality and performance metrics is murky at best.

HWL’s Vendor Management System engages all client stakeholders:

  • Ensures competitive market rates
  • Gains supplier commitment
  • Standardizes fees, conversions, and other terms and conditions
  • Saves time for recruiters and hiring managers
  • Increases transparency into screening and onboarding process
  • Gains efficiency for all parties including agencies
  • Lower costs through open ecosystem bidding model
  • Improved visibility into costs and nursing/allied utilization by facility, agency, type, etc


How HWL Gets You the Best Rates for Nursing & Allied Health Professionals

Managing the RFP process is time-consuming and requires buyers to allocate precious internal resources—resources severely lacking given the COVID-19 pandemic. HWL’s consultative approach and healthcare staffing-focused technology platform result in savings from market-competitive rates and increased operational efficiencies. 

RESULTS:  Distribution of Bid Rates for Travel Staff

RFP Responses, by Specialty 



  • The graphic shows RFP responses from several agencies for regular Travel Staff hourly rates by selected specialties.
  • Responses show significant variation both across and within specialties.
  • The blue shaded range in the middle of each specialty represents a 50% range of bid rates, with the top and bottom “whiskers” showing the highest and lowest high hourly bids received. Some ranges are as broad as $45 for the same kind of worker.
  • This variation among rates underscores the need for rate standardization with a capable and committed vendor panel.

HWL examines all rate types in terms of submitted bids to the base hourly rate ranges. We determine a market-competitive rate range for each specialty that will contain total costs while still allowing flexibility to ensure quality staff is available to fill openings.

How it Works:

  • Analyze current bill rates among nursing and allied health professionals
  • Develop rate recommendations and finalize rate card
  • Review agency submissions and current vendors to establish final vendor panel
  • Finalize SOW and distribute new standardized contract to the vendor panel
  • Train recruiter personnel on HWL VMS
  • Announce GO Live Date to vendors

 You can rely on HWL to ensure everyone involved adds value to the organization and the patients they serve.


A Better Way to Manage Agencies

For your health system to become efficient, every department dealing with vendors needs to share information in real-time. Doing so will empower each team to build from a pool of knowledge instead of each department starting from scratch when managing suppliers. HWL simplifies and streamlines the nursing and allied health professional hiring process with our robust VMS. Combining real-time market data with exchange management tools like our VMS and Direct Hire technology, our clients achieve better fill rates, reduced vacancies, and lower overall costs.

HWL’s VMS Features:

  • Easy online or mobile order entry
  • Select which vendors you want to see your orders
  • Automate name clearing and known-provider process
  • Review bids, manage interview schedules, and conduct screening steps online
  • Online assignment confirmations with electronic signatures for provider, agency, and health system
  • Collect and store all provider documents and credentials online
  • Approve all time and expenses electronically
  • Receive and pay one e-invoice for all agencies per pay period
  • Track costs, quality, and vendor performance with dashboards and custom reports

Managing multiple agencies can be a time-consuming and frustrating process, but it doesn’t have to be. HWL can automate all of the hiring process steps by providing an intuitive and easy-to-use platform designed by experts in contingent healthcare workforce management. And by automating all hiring activity, you will gain instant visibility into your talent usage and costs through real-time reports and dashboards.


Find Out What You’re Really Spending & How Much You Could Save

HWL is uniquely positioned to act as an honest broker for our clients. The combination of our vendor-neutral philosophy, access to real-time market intelligence, and first-hand knowledge of agencies’ inner workings position us to negotiate the most competitive rates. 

Allow us to demonstrate how we can help your organization turn real-time data and staffing strategies into actionable results. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a demo.


August 24, 2020/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 solution design 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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