Locums Digest #46: The Amazonification of Healthcare (& Staffing?), New NALTO Board Members; Accolades for MPLT & 7 Other Locums Firms, Improving Your Email Recruitment & More

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Major Retailers Are Trying to Change How Healthcare is Delivered, Possibly Leading to Staffing Shift 

(From Axios, 3/7/2023)

Major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, CVS, and Dollar General are entering the healthcare delivery space, focusing on personalized consumer experiences driven by digital health products.

By integrating tech-enabled services, like urgent, primary, home, and specialty care, pharmacy, and full integration with insurers, they aim to offer a more user-friendly portal to the health system. Resulting in better patient engagement and access to care in underserved areas while creating a sustainable model for providing better care for less money.

However, their forays have triggered anti-trust and privacy concerns, raising fears of further erosion of the doctor-patient relationship, once considered central to coordinated care. Locumpedia is watching this trend closely and will be among the first news outlets to examine how this potentially significant shift could affect locum tenens primary care staffing.

Changing the Model

These retail giants are investing in end-to-end primary care, targeting the lucrative Medicare Advantage segment and developing a longitudinal relationship between doctors and patients. 

Staffing in healthcare delivery may shift towards these retailers and away from conventional models, potentially creating new job opportunities and changing the landscape of healthcare staffing. Retailers may be looking to locum tenens agencies to fill this need.

Payment models reward providers for wellness and prevention care, as seen in the Kaiser Permanente model. Retailers could create “an HMO on steroids,” leveraging their vast customer base.

Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical has brought in an on-demand, virtual-care services platform, more than 125 locations, and a piece of the Medicare Advantage business. 

Walmart Health plans to almost double the footprint of its in-store clinics, offering primary, behavioral health, vision, and dental care. The retailer also inked a ten-year Medicare Advantage deal with UnitedHealth Group.

Meanwhile, CVS Health plans to buy Oak Street Health, a primary care group focused on Medicare patients. Other retailers, such as Rite Aid, Albertsons, and Dollar General, have also launched programs in healthcare delivery.

Commoditizing Care

However, concerns over the potential commoditization of care could further erode the doctor-patient relationship, once considered central to coordinated care. 

Retailers must deliver the same or better outcomes at a lower cost to be in-network and get recommended by payers and picked by employers. 

The potential benefits of better access, convenience, and cost savings must be balanced with quality and privacy concerns.

Retailers’ digital platforms will generate new datasets for healthcare and life sciences. While the entry of these retailers presents both opportunities and challenges, it holds tremendous promise for healthcare stakeholders.

The healthcare industry has experienced a significant loss of workers, with over 4 million leaving their jobs in the first eight months of 2022, equating to around 20% of the workforce. 

Physicians are opting for locum tenens opportunities and transitioning away from traditional clinical settings. The shortage of healthcare staff poses a significant challenge for the industry, and retailers may consider seeking assistance from locum tenens agencies to address this need.

Meanwhile, healthcare organizations are adapting to retain employees better and attract new talent, prioritizing scheduling and remote work flexibility. 

Health systems must stand out in an employee’s market while being cost-effective, data-driven, and mission-focused.

All News Is Locums

NALTO Welcomes Four New Board Members for the 2023-2026 Term 

(From PRWEB, 3/8/2023)

The National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO) recently elected four new members and re-elected one current board member for the 2023-2026 term. The announcement was made at the NALTO/NAPR Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas. 

The new board members are Robert Dickey, Paul Miller, Gregory Prine, and Olivia D’Angelo Reed, and the re-elected member is Scott Selby. These new members hail from Medicus Healthcare Solutions, CompHealth, Weatherby Healthcare, and Jackson + Coker.

NALTO is deeply committed to upholding the utmost ethical standards in healthcare staffing and advocating for its interests at the federal level. With new board members, NALTO can further leverage its extensive healthcare staffing expertise and an unyielding dedication to the locum tenens industry. 

NALTO’s next event, the 2023 NALTO® Fall Fly-In, is scheduled for September 26-28, 2023, in Park City, Utah. 

SIA Names 2023 ‘Best Staffing Firms to Work For’

(SIA news release, 3/8/2023)

Seven healthcare staffing agencies that place locum tenens physicians and advanced practitioners were honored by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) as 2023 “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” during its Executive Forum North America conference in Miami Beach, Florida, this week.

This year’s winners, as rated by their employees, included:

Staffing Firms with 10 to 20 Employees

Assurgent Medical Staffing
Austin Major Group
Locums Choice, LLC

Staffing Firms with 21 to 50 Employees

Fusion Healthcare Staffing

Staffing Firms with 51-200 Employees

Floyd Lee Locums

Staffing Firms with 201-500 Employees

All Star Healthcare Solutions

Staffing Firms with over 500 Employees

Aya Healthcare

“Being recognized on industry lists for your work as a company is always an honor. But that honor is even higher when your workers’ ratings place you on those lists,” SIA President Barry Asin said. “That is the case for SIA’s Best Staffing Firms to Work For, where employees and temps provide the data for our rankings.” 

A record 450 firms sought participation in the program this year, which SIA conducted in conjunction with Quantum Workplace, an Omaha, NE-based company. 

Internal employees at each firm were asked to complete an online survey measuring key engagement categories, focusing on teamwork, trust in senior leaders, diversity and inclusion, manager effectiveness, and compensation and benefits. 

MPLT Healthcare Named to South Florida’s Top 5 in Staffing,  Plus Tips for Streamlining Locum Tenens Onboarding

(From MPLT Healthcare news release, 2/28/2023 and blog post, 3/7/2023)

South Florida Business Journal has ranked MPLT Healthcare as #5 on its 2023 list of top-performing temporary personnel and staffing agencies in South Florida.

The participating companies were ranked by 2022 billings in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach metro areas.

“MPLT Healthcare is honored to be listed among the top five staffing companies in South Florida,” MPLT Healthcare CEO Liz Hale said. “We strive to be ‘people helping people’ first and foremost. That’s the goal driving our business and setting us up for success.

“MPLT Healthcare maintains a promising trajectory as we report 53% year-over-year growth between 2021 and 2022.”

The firm recently offered tips for streamlining locum tenens onboarding.

1. Address logistics beforehand. Completing paperwork and other administrative tasks earlier frees up onboarding time to focus on hands-on training and facility tours, allowing new providers to get up to speed faster and more efficiently.

2. Implement a short, tailored orientation program. Rather than lengthy sessions, a customized approach to orientation can be just as effective in acclimating providers to new units or specialties. A half-day session can cover the necessary introductions and training to ensure locum tenens providers hit the ground running.

3. Offer equipment and software training. Locum tenens providers may need to familiarize themselves with the equipment and software used in your facility. Including training on specific tools, such as EHR software and patient databases, ensures that they feel comfortable operating them and providing quality patient care.

By employing these practices, healthcare facilities can improve the onboarding process for locum tenens providers, streamlining the experience and ultimately enhancing patient care.

Locum Tenens Staffing Can Boost Productivity 

(From Health Carousel Locum Tenens, 3/9/2023)

The nationwide physician shortage has led to a rise in the number of locum tenens providers, Health Carousel Locum Tenens reports. Thousands of physicians and advanced practice providers now contract with locum tenens agencies to provide services for hospitals, outpatient medical centers, private practices, and community health centers.

Not only does this benefit healthcare organizations by addressing their staffing needs, but it also provides locum tenens providers with greater flexibility in their schedules and the opportunity to reignite their passion for medicine.

Health Carousel also emphasizes the importance of credentialing when hiring a locum tenens provider to ensure patient safety and quality care.

The Physician Shortage and the Rise of Locum Tenens Providers

Healthcare organizations are turning to locum tenens providers to combat the nationwide physician shortage. Utilizing a healthcare staffing agency allows facilities to acquire specialized talent and offer a broader range of services, improving patient care and preventing gaps. Locum tenens providers also help fill in for staffing shortages or relieve core staff burnout.

The Benefits of Flexible Staffing

Locum tenens assignments allow healthcare organizations to assess and restructure service delivery before entering permanent contracts. It also allows hospitals to test a possible recruit while looking for the perfect permanent placements. 

Using locum tenens can also help hospitals test new programs and avoid the high cost of hiring a permanent provider while helping to increase healthcare access to rural and underserved communities.

The Credentialing Process for Locum Tenens Staff

The credentialing process is essential before onboarding a new locum tenens clinician. Hospitals must thoroughly review the physician’s qualifications and licensure to ensure patient safety and provide the required privileges to practice medicine in the facility. The entire credentialing process can take anywhere from 30 days to 6 months, with an average of 60-120 days being typical.

Hiring Locum Tenens Providers Helps Healthcare Facilities Achieve Flexible Scheduling

(From Integrity Locums, 2/17/2023)

Integrity Locums recently highlighted in a blog post how using locum tenens providers allows a healthcare facility to adjust staffing levels based on patient demand.

These ‘fill-in clinicians’ can be an efficient staffing solution to help maintain continuity of care for patients and flexible scheduling options for expanded telehealth services.

On-Demand Medical Care

In emergencies, hospitals can become overwhelmed, leaving some patients without medical attention. Locum tenens clinicians on standby can provide much-needed relief when the situation arises.

Finding the Right Balance with Locums

Flexible scheduling options, such as part-time, short shifts, and block schedules, can help personnel manage their work-life balance. Locum tenens physicians can help bridge the gap in staffing and give personnel more control over their plans.

Convenient, Cost-Effective Telehealth Care 

Telehealth has revolutionized healthcare delivery and benefits facilities and patients. Offering telehealth services reduces wait times, lowers healthcare costs, and improves communication and collaboration between healthcare providers and patients. 

Locum tenens physicians can provide specialist skills and services that may need to be available in-house and help your facility keep up with the increasing demand for virtual appointments.

Hiring a locum tenens provider can help healthcare facilities achieve flexible staffing solutions, emergency coverage, flexible scheduling options, and expanded telehealth services.

The Healthcare Staffing Story

2023’s Top 100 Staffing Stewards 

(From Staffing Industry Review, 2/15/2023) 

The staffing industry grew by 14% in 2022, reaching total revenue of $212.8 billion. However, staffing executives faced challenges last year due to various obstacles, such as the pandemic’s impact, the conflict in Ukraine, and steep global inflation.

This year staffing executives–including those in healthcare–are expected to face a more moderate 2% growth due to mass layoffs at some of the largest US companies. As a result, the industry must continue to adapt and evolve to meet the changing needs of both workers and employers.

Contingent Workforce Growing

A notable trend in recent years is the rise of the temporary or contingent workforce, which reached an estimated 33 million workers in the US alone in 2021. This trend will likely continue as employers seek greater flexibility and workers prioritize work-life balance and control over their schedules.

Companies are now striving to meet workers’ increasing demands, including equity in the workforce, more versatile management styles, and genuine commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. “They want diversity of thought and experience from their peers and the C-suite. Leaders need to juggle varying and often paradoxical demands,” according to the SIA report.

Despite these changes and challenges, the staffing industry has continued to thrive, thanks in part to the efforts of the 2023 Staffing 100 honorees. These industry leaders have guided the staffing industry through difficult times and positioned it for future success.

Leaders from healthcare staffing comprised roughly 20% of the Top 100, including:

Vickie Anenberg, COO, Supplemental Health Care

Scott Beck, CEO, CHG Healthcare

Tony Braswell, president & founder, Gale Healthcare Solutions 

Alan Braynin, founder & CEO, Aya Healthcare

Brendan Courtney, President & CEO, HealthTrust Workforce Solutions

Bob Dickey, CEO, Medicus Healthcare Solutions

Dennis Ducham, CEO, Gifted Healthcare

Adam Francis, CEO, Host Healthcare/Medical Solutions

April Hansen, group president, Workforce Solutions, Aya Healthcare

Shane Jackson, president, Jackson Healthcare

Denise Jackson, chief legal officer & corporate secretary, AMN Healthcare

Cherie Kloss, founder & board member, SnapNurse

John A. Martins, CEO, Cross Country Healthcare

Craig Meier, CEO, Medical Solutions

John Sebastian, CEO, Health Carousel

James Taylor, group president & COO, Physician and Leadership Solutions, AMN Healthcare

Bart Valdez, CEO, Ingenovis Health

Betty Wageman, chief commercial officer, Ingenovis Health

Tools to Try/News to Use

The Top 10 Strategies for Physician Email Recruitment

(From Inside Physician Recruiting, 3/5/2023)

Recruiting physicians through email can be challenging, but there are ways to increase your chances of success. To assist you in your recruitment efforts, Inside Physician Recruiting has compiled a comprehensive list of tips, tricks, and tactics for successful physician email recruiting, including:

1. Know your target audience: Understand their qualifications and interests.

2. Use an engaging subject line: Be specific and highlight benefits.

3. Keep it brief: Focus on the value proposition and benefits.

4. Use persuasive language: Appeal to professional development, work-life balance, and financial incentives.

5. Personalize the message: Use the recipient’s name and reference their qualifications.

6. Include a clear call to action: Make it concise and easy to follow.

7. Timing matters: Send emails on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday during business hours.

8. Use a professional email address: Represent your organization.

9. Follow-up: Don’t be afraid to send a gentle reminder.

10. Give them an out: Provide a way to indicate their preferred opportunities.

Implementing these tactics can help you recruit physicians through email and attract top talent to your organization.

Last Call for AAPPR’s Conference in Austin, Texas

Only a week left to get in on the 2023 AAPPR Annual Conference, on March 22-24, at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. This event is the perfect opportunity for healthcare professionals in recruitment, retention, and onboarding to connect, network, learn, and strategize.

Take advantage of the chance to renew and feel equipped to handle the fast-paced and ever-changing healthcare trends. 

Discounted rates are available at the Westin Austin Downtown Hotel and Residence Inn Austin Downtown Hotel. 

Find out more details and secure your spot here

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How ‘Bout This?’

Arkansas Seeks Medical Students to Tackle Physician Shortage

(From NBC/KXAN News, 2/28/2023)

Arkansas is among the US states facing a shortage of doctors, which is expected to increase with the continued growth of the population. A strategy to address this shortage is to retain medical students in Arkansas by expanding residency programs. 

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, over 50% of medical residents practice in the state of their residency. Creating more residency opportunities will encourage medical students to stay and practice in the state. The cost of establishing these residencies is high. For example, internist residencies cost hospitals around $183,000 per year, per resident, according to the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine.

The federal government supports UAMS for resident training but only reimburses hospitals up to a certain cap. Therefore, hospitals such as UMass and Washington Regional Medical Center have had caps for decades, preventing them from adding more residents. To overcome this, UAMS has been assuming the cost of residencies exceeding its cap. Washington Regional Medical Center was reclassified as a rural hospital to get its cap re-evaluated, resulting in 92 residencies.

As hospitals look for funding sources beyond the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, Arkansas State Representative Dr. Lee Johnson created a program in 2019 to help distribute residency funding throughout the state. He hopes the infrastructure helps incentivize future investment in state residency programs. Johnson also argued that investments in Arkansas’ residency programs pay off in the long run. While a residency program has initial startup costs, it can pay for itself over time as those residents grow their practice and become mature.

Johnson is calling on the federal government to raise its cap on how many residencies the CMS supports. U.S. Sen. John Boozman also agrees that creating more residencies should be a priority and has partnered with other senators and other areas to increase the amount of graduate medical education slots throughout the country. This plan would help to address the shortage of doctors in Arkansas and other US states.

Last Call for AAPPR’s Conference in Austin, Texas

Only a week left to get in on the 2023 AAPPR Annual Conference, on March 22-24, at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. This event is the perfect opportunity for healthcare professionals in recruitment, retention, and onboarding to connect, network, learn, and strategize.

Take advantage of the chance to renew and feel equipped to handle the fast-paced and ever-changing healthcare trends. 

Discounted rates are available at the Westin Austin Downtown Hotel and Residence Inn Austin Downtown Hotel. 

Find out more details and secure your spot here

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