Locums Digest 30: NALTO Urges Congress to Amend PRO Act; Gastros Working Locums; New Agency Leaders, Locums Events & More

In This Issue

NALTO Urges Congress to Amend the PRO Act for Locum Tenens

(Edited from NALTO® Legislative Committee post)

In 2020, NALTO began grassroots efforts to educate Members of Congress about the locum tenens industry and to support legislation that retains locum tenens providers as independent contractors. Today roughly 52,000 locum tenens physicians, nurse practitioners, and other clinicians provide care to some 7.5 million Americans every year.

The Issue

The PRO Act, as passed by the United States House of Representatives, would materially change the locum tenens industry overnight, as many locum tenens providers would cease providing their crucial services to hospitals and other healthcare facilities nationwide, including those in rural and other already underserved communities. The Veterans Health Administration (VA) and Indian Health Services would also be adversely affected by this legislation.

The Washington Post termed the legislation, “One of the most significant bills to strengthen workers’ abilities to organize in the past 80 years.” The Post explained the act, would:

  • Amend some of the country’s decades-old labor laws to give workers more power during disputes at work.
  • Add penalties for companies that retaliate against workers who organize.
  • Grant hundreds of thousands of workers collective-bargaining rights they don’t currently have.
  • Weaken “right-to-work” laws in 27 states that allow employees to forgo participating in and paying dues to unions.
Not Just a Federal Issue

California enacted a law, upon which the PRO Act was based, that would have severely impacted the ability of locum providers to practice in the state. Fortunately, California recognized this error and provided an exemption for physicians and surgeons. Unfortunately, California did not exempt advanced practitioners, which has adversely affected healthcare delivery in that state.

NALTO notes, “Considering the well-documented, existing and forecasted provider shortage, healthcare facilities and their patients simply cannot afford to lose healthcare providers from the labor pool. Quite simply, lives are at stake.”

The Solution

NALTO is advocating for a permanent solution by asking Congress to enact legislation that would codify physicians, surgeons, and advanced practitioners as independent contractors. This way, the estimated 20 million patient interactions that occur every year through them will continue uninterrupted.

In its ongoing relationship with lobbying firm McGuireWoods, NALTO has launched a platform to support its legislative efforts. This allows NALTO® members, locum tenens providers, and healthcare facility clients to urge their respective Members of Congress to support this critical proposal.

Let Congress hear your voice. Take action now! (Scroll down through the article and select the interest group you represent.)

All News Is Locums

Gastroenterologists Are Working Locum Tenens

Physician Shortage Creates Opportunities

(Edited from LocumTenens.com article by Recruitment Manager Lauren Brooks, 3/9/2022)

Many highly-specialized areas of medicine are experiencing the impact of the physician shortage, and this is especially true for gastroenterology. Gastroenterologists require many years of training, and there aren’t many graduating right now. Programs can only bring in so many fellows at a time, so programs have just two or three gastroenterologists on board, which simply exacerbates the issue.
 
This means healthcare facilities need to get creative about recruitment. It also means there are a lot of opportunities for locum tenens gastroenterologists.

A locum tenens model of employment is more appealing than ever for gastroenterologists. Here are 5 reasons why.

1. Gastroenterologists can choose out-patient, in-patient, or on-call work.

Permanent, full-time employment at a healthcare facility, regardless of specialty, doesn’t often lend itself to flexibility. Many gastroenterologists who are permanently employed have to balance their time between out-patient procedures and in-patient procedures, and being on call. Working locum tenens gives them the freedom to choose how to use their time.

If a gastroenterologist wants to do procedures but doesn’t want to see patients in the clinic for follow-up, locum tenens recruiters can find them an assignment that only requires them to do procedures.

2. Locum tenens work allows gastroenterologists to replace or exceed their full-time salaries.

Many gastroenterologists are surprised to learn that their colleagues who are doing locum tenens work make just as much, if not more than, when they were working full-time for a healthcare facility.

One gastroenterologist I’m working with has replaced his full-time salary while working locum tenens one month on and one month off throughout the year. This flexibility has eased the burden of his job and erased his feeling of burnout. Because the intensive training required to join the specialty is expensive, being able to replace or exceed a full-time salary while working less time can be life-changing.

3. Working locum tenens affords gastroenterologists flexibility, work-life balance.

The pandemic has made many gastroenterologists reconsider how they want to work, and the flexibility of working locum tenens is more appealing than ever. Some choose locum tenens because recruiters can create call schedules for them each month, allowing them to balance their already-busy schedules.

This works out well for working parents especially. For example, I work with one gastroenterologist with a young child who only works on the days she has childcare. The locum tenens model of employment can accommodate a flexible lifestyle that permanent, full-time employment can’t.

4. Gastroenterologists are able to avoid overhead.

Because practices had to cancel elective colonoscopies, endoscopies, and other procedures at the beginning of the pandemic, many private practices closed their doors altogether or were bought by major hospitals or big groups.

Operating a private practice is expensive. For those gastroenterologists who don’t want the additional overhead that comes with uncertainty or owning a business, locum tenens work has become more appealing.

5. Working locum tenens allows gastroenterologists to maintain and expand their skill sets.

One of the gastroenterologists I work with is employed full-time by the VA, and his patients tend to be fairly healthy, so he isn’t seeing a wide variety of cases. This gastroenterologist chooses to work locum tenens to supplement his experience. Ever so often, he takes assignments within other clinical settings so he can stay up-to-date with the skills required to treat more complex cases.

Many gastroenterologists in similar situations don’t complete enough advanced endoscopy procedures in their case logs to maintain certification. By working locum tenens in different settings, they can maintain their certification and continue to practice at the same level.

All Star Healthcare Solutions Names Hunsaker VP of Finance

(Edited from Cision/PR Newswire release, 2/21/2022)

All Star Healthcare Solutions® has named Dianne Hunsaker its divisional vice president of finance. Hunsaker “will steer the organization’s financial activities to optimize efficiency; maximize growth and sustain the “Red Carpet Service” the company provides to its clinicians, clients and employees,” according to All Star’s news release.

An accomplished organizational leader, Hunsaker has worked in the healthcare staffing industry for nearly 30 years and achieved notable success in many roles, including corporate controller and senior director/Customer Service.

“We are thrilled for Dianne to join our team,” All Star Healthcare Solutions CEO Keith Shattuck said. “She’s an innovative and inspirational leader who embraces our culture. Her vast experience and industry expertise will inform our strategic financial direction as we continue to grow.”

The Healthcare Staffing Story

10 States Predicted to See Greatest Physician Shortages by 2030

(Edited from Becker’s ASC Review article by Riz Hatton, 3/2/2022)

California is expected to experience a shortage of 32,669 physicians by 2030, according to a study published in Human Resources for Health.

The study, published February 6, analyzes current and future physician job surplus and shortage trends throughout the US from 2017 to 2030. It used projected changes in age and population size, then the authors created demand and supply models to predict physician shortages in 50 states.

Ten states predicted to have the greatest shortages of physicians by 2030:

1. California — 32,669
2. Florida — 21,978
3. Texas — 20,420
4. Arizona — 8,280
5. Georgia — 8,012
6. North Carolina — 7,725
7. Illinois — 6,203
8. Washington — 6,037
9. Tennessee — 5,989
10. Louisiana — 4,820

1 In 3 Clinicians Considering Leaving Role By 2024, Study Shows

(Edited from Becker’s Hospital Review story by Kelly Gooch, 3/16/2022)

Thirty-one percent of clinicians participating in a global study said they were considering leaving their current role by 2024, with nearly half of participating US clinicians reporting these plans, according to a report released March 15 by analytics firm Elsevier Health.

The Clinician of the Future report, conducted in partnership with market research company Ipsos, is based on a quantitative global survey, qualitative interviews, and roundtable discussions with nearly 3,000 physicians and nurses worldwide.

Elsevier Health’s first “Clinician of the Future” global report reveals current pain points, predictions for the future and how the industry can come together to address gaps.

– Elsevier News Release

The research involved 60-minute qualitative interviews with 23 clinicians globally between Aug. 11 and Sept. 10; a 15-minute online survey completed by 2,838 clinicians globally, run from Oct. 15-Dec. 13; and virtual roundtables, with the US roundtable occurring in January. Overall, 446 US clinicians participated in the three phases.

Three more findings:

  • 71% of physicians and 68% of nurses said their jobs have changed considerably in the last decade, with many indicating their jobs have worsened.
  • 74% of clinicians predicted there will be a shortage of nurses, and 68% predicted a shortage of physicians, over the next 10 years.
  • Of the 31% of clinicians who were considering leaving their current role by 2024, 33% plan to stay in a similar role but change to another healthcare setting; 21% plan to retire; and 13% plan to move to another job unrelated to healthcare.

“While we know that many nurses are leaving the profession due to burnout, we also know that the pandemic has inspired others to enter the field because of a strong desire for purposeful work,” Marion Broome, PhD, RN, a professor of nursing at Duke University, said in a news release. “We must embrace this next wave of healthcare professionals and ensure we set them up for success. Our future as a society depends on it.”

To learn more about the report, click here.

Hospitals’ Reliance on Travel Nurses Likely to Continue

(Edited from Becker’s Hospital Review story by Kelly Gooch, 3/16/2022)

Hospitals’ reliance on travel nurses to fill workforce gaps likely will continue after the COVID-19 pandemic threat ends, as organizations grapple with demand for care unrelated to the virus and nurses’ departures from full-time staff jobs, Bloomberg News reported March 15.

The pandemic intensified hospitals’ reliance on travel nurses and highlighted the gap between full-time workers’ pay and lucrative temporary contracts. Now organizations continue to struggle to fill job vacancies in a tight labor market.

Part of hospitals’ struggles come from healthcare workers leaving their full-time jobs–some because of emotional exhaustion, others to take a travel or agency nurse role, and still others to retire early.

In New Jersey, hospitals more than tripled their 2020 spending on agency and travel staff last year, estimating they spent $670 million, according to a recent survey from the New Jersey Hospital Association.

Meanwhile, interest in travel nursing has not faded, with data from Indeed showing searches more than five times levels seen before the pandemic, according to Bloomberg News.

Read the full report here.

WorldWide Medical Staffing Names Weaver President & CEO

(Edited from GlobeNewswire release, 3/15/2022)

Worldwide Medical Staffing has named Jackson Weaver its president and CEO.

Weaver joined WorldWide Medical Services in September 2021 as senior VP to oversee operations, business development, recruitment, and federal contracting. A US Army Veteran and enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Weaver brought more than 15 years of healthcare staffing experience to the SVP role, including stints as an army and an agency recruiter,

“We will provide exceptional service through timely communication, value-based solutions, and continuous process improvements,” Weaver said. “We will motivate and inspire people while maintaining excellent contract performance.”

Worldwide Medical will continue to serve established federal clients including Indian Health Services, Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense while competing for new business.

Tools to Try/News to Use

Medical Economics’ Spring 2022 Bootcamp:
March 31, 3-7 pm ET

(Edited from Physicians Practice email, 3/2/2022)

Each Bootcamp event will host new experts on topics directly impacting physician-patient workload and revenue streams.

The four-session Spring event on Thursday, March 31, will cover:

  • Physician Tax Planning
  • Remote Patient Monitoring
  • Concierge Medicine
  • Coding and Documentation

Registering for the event gets you exclusive live access to all the sessions, which will include expert-led presentations, panel discussions, and ample time to ask questions and get answers.

Learn More or Register Now!

Take the 2022 AAPPR Benchmarking Survey!
What if you could have your physician and APP search data analyzed for free? How many interviews per hire, or offers per hire, does your organization make?

Since 2011, AAPPR’s In-House Physician and Provider Recruitment Benchmarking Report has been providing credible industry data to help in-house recruitment professionals prepare, plan, and forecast. AAPPR invites all health care organizations to share their annual physician and provider candidate search statistics.

Be a part of the 150+ health organizations representing 17,000 searches in the AAPPR Benchmarking Survey for 2022. Some organizations pay thousands of dollars for a customized report with plain, easy-to-understand language, but by participating in the annual benchmarking process, you get this service for free.

The survey is open now until May 18, 2022 and the report is typically released in October each year.

What Data Should I be Prepared to Share?

Review the most current Benchmarking Survey Questionnaire ahead of time

Many ATS companies, like PracticeMatch and Kontact Intelligence, make it especially easy to export much of your data for the benchmarking tool. No more manual entry if you have an ATS or utilize Excel to track your data. Simply download, review and then upload.

Are you an AAPPR member?

AAPPR members can enjoy access to numerous data resources that help you achieve your goals. New this year, we’re providing those who participate in the survey or purchase the report an opportunity to schedule a meeting with Liz Mahan, CPRP, our director of professional development and solutions. This meeting will be focused on helping departments and organizations socialize the data and integrate it into their day-to-day operations and processes.

Socially Speaking

How 'Bout This?

Anesthesiologist Pay in 5 Major Cities

(Edited from Becker’s ASC Review article by Patsy Newitt, 3/16/2022)

Self-employed anesthesiologists out-earn their employed counterparts in five major US cities, according to Medscape’s physician salary explorer.

Here are stats on average annual anesthesiologist salaries in five cities:

Atlanta
Employed anesthesiologist salaries:
$341,230 – $389,361
Self-employed anesthesiologist salaries:
$403,002 – $444,444

Chicago
Employed anesthesiologist salaries:
$345,367 – $406,115
Self-employed anesthesiologist salaries:
$403,002 – $457,405

Los Angeles
Employed anesthesiologist salaries:
$328,429 – $393,676
Self-employed anesthesiologist salaries:
$403,002 – $456,556

New York City
Employed anesthesiologist salaries:
$325,834 – $391,914
Self-employed anesthesiologist salaries:
$403,002 – $461,098

Phoenix
Employed anesthesiologist salaries:
$345,827 – $403,208
Self-employed anesthesiologist salaries:
$403,002 – $447,503