Locums Digest #67 | MPLT’s Hale Named NALTO President-Elect, LT.com Report on Doc Retention, SIA Opens Application for Agency Rankings & More

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MPLT Healthcare’s Hale to Named President-Elect of NALTO Board

Dec. 28, 2023

The National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO) recently named Liz Hale, CEO of MPLT Healthcare, its next president-elect for the board of directors.

In addition to her role as CEO of MPLT, Hale serves as the Chair of the Credentialing Committee for NALTO and is a member of both the Conference and Legislative Committees. She has been on the NALTO board since March 2020. 

Current NALTO Board President Jarin Dana welcomed Hale as the newly appointed president-elect. 

“Her leadership at MPLT Healthcare and dedication to advancing the locum tenens industry make her an ideal choice for this position,” Dana said. “Liz’s vision and commitment to excellence will undoubtedly contribute to the continued growth and success of NALTO.”

As the incoming president-elect, Hale is pivotal in advancing NALTO’s mission of guiding the temporary physician staffing industry. Her leadership is key in promoting shared resources and enforcing robust industry standards that benefit all stakeholders, from healthcare providers to clients. 

Hale is also at the forefront of NALTO’s legislative advocacy efforts, both at the Federal and State levels. She will lead the NALTO board, which has been instrumental in championing the Health Care Provider Shortage Minimization Act. She will be tasked with mobilizing members, clinicians, and healthcare facilities to secure congressional support for this legislation and any other impacting locum tenens providers.

“Serving on the NALTO Board of Directors is a true privilege, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue working alongside Jarin Dana and this remarkable team of industry experts in a new capacity while we continue to build upon NALTO®’s already strong foundation,” Hale said. 

For more details about the appointment, read the full article from MPLT or learn more about NALTO’s mission and current Board of Directors. 

La Vida Locum

Revolutionizing Physician Retention: Key Insights from LocumTenens.com Report

Jan. 17, 2024

With a projected shortage of up to 124,000 physicians and an annual healthcare industry turnover rate of 7%, healthcare administrators face a seemingly insurmountable challenge in fostering physician retention. Innovative approaches are needed to address the retention problem effectively. 

LocumTenens.com recently released a report titled “The Innovation Imperative for Physician Retention,” which examines the industry’s underlying issues and offers solutions for hospitals and medical practices. 

Solutions highlighted in the report include: 

  1. Forming a physician retention committee: These committees typically comprise six to 10 physicians and recruitment/retention staff and help formalize the retention process to encourage greater engagement among physicians. Involving dissenting voices in the decision-making process can turn them into advocates for physician retention.
  2. Utilizing data: The report says that many medical practices don’t leverage evidence-based statistics to inform retention strategies. Almost half of the facilities surveyed for the report do not use employee satisfaction surveys, which rose to 63% for smaller organizations. Collecting data on physician retention can provide insights into an organization’s unique challenges and aid in developing effective strategies. 
  3. Integrating telehealth: Despite its potential, only 44% of respondents actively promote hybrid work, and 63% require all clinical staff to work on-site full-time. Embracing telehealth can free up on-site clinicians to address immediate patient needs while offering better work-life balance.
  4. Utilize locum tenens: As readers of Locumpedia are acutely aware, embracing locum tenens can contribute to physician retention. Locum tenens provides additional support for in-house physicians, offering them greater flexibility and work-life balance. Only 2% of the survey’s respondents saw it as a factor in physician retention.

By addressing physician retention in these ways, healthcare organizations can better navigate the challenges of physician retention. The article from LocumTenens.com offers a more comprehensive understanding of the report, and the full report is available for download

Medical Oncology Jumps to Eighth Highest-Paying Specialty, Yet Satisfaction Dips

Jan. 8, 2024

Medical oncologists’ compensation increased by 13% over the past year, reaching $463,000 in 2022, according to Medscape’s 2023 Oncologist Compensation Report. The compensation increase was the highest percentage rise among all medical specialties. This surge can be attributed to a consistent rise in salaries since 2015, resulting in a 53% increase. 

As a result, medical oncology now ranks as the eighth highest-paying specialty among physicians, up from tenth place in 2022. Despite this income growth, the report says many medical oncologists feel they need to be more fairly compensated, likely due to increased administrative tasks and regulatory challenges.

Even with the raise, oncologists are still seeking additional work opportunities to supplement their income, with 35% reporting extra work in 2022. Some have even transitioned to self-employment like locum tenens, finding higher pay and greater schedule flexibility as independent contractors.

According to the report: 

  • Only 57% of oncologists considered themselves fairly paid in 2022, down from 67% in 2021.
  • 94% of oncologists expressed a strong commitment to their specialty.
  • The surveyed oncologists said their administrative tasks increased, requiring oncologists to spend an average of 17.6 hours per week on paperwork. This ranked fifth-highest among all specialties, the report says. 

Medical oncologists still say they derive satisfaction from their work overall. Many find fulfillment in patient gratitude and professional growth rather than solely income-driven motivations. Read Weatherby Healthcare’s deep dive into Medscape’s 2023 Oncologist Compensation Report. 

Locum Leaders

SIA’s 2024 Staffing Industry Rankings Open for Applications

Feb. 5, 2024

Staffing Industry Analysts recently opened an online application for the 2024 Largest and Fastest-Growing Staffing Company Rankings and Opportunity Lists. The application’s submission deadline is Friday, March 8. 

SIA’s yearly rankings and reports are extensively shared among staffing buyers and investors, offering free public exposure and heightened visibility within the industry. The list spotlights top staffing agencies from diverse categories, underscoring each company’s achievements and distinguishing them within the industry.

Categories include: 

  • Largest US staffing firms by each skill segment and staffing sector
  • The fastest-growing staffing firms in the country
  • Diversity-owned staffing firms
  • Largest global staffing firms, and more.

SIA has created a survey for agency representatives to fill out. The application has two parts that each need to be completed by the deadline — the second part, which is only for agencies that want to appear in the largest or fastest-growing rankings, involves downloading an Excel worksheet to fill out and email to SIA. 

Aya Healthcare Acquires ID Medical, Expanding Into UK Market

Jan. 16, 2024

Aya Healthcare completed its acquisition of ID Medical, a leading healthcare recruitment firm in the UK, on Jan. 16, marking Aya’s expansion into the United Kingdom. 

Alan Braynin, President and CEO of Aya Healthcare, expressed enthusiasm about the company becoming part of the Aya family of brands. The goal behind this cross-Atlantic collaboration, he says, is to deliver the same enhanced value to clients and clinicians on each continent.

One key aspect of this acquisition is the exchange of best practices between the two markets. Aya Healthcare plans to introduce its technology and solutions in the UK to increase operational efficiency. Meanwhile, ID Medical’s expertise in float pools will benefit the US operations. 

ID Medical, headquartered in Milton Keynes, UK, provides MSP services, staff bank management, locum tenens, allied staffing, and international recruitment to the UK’s National Health Service and other healthcare organizations. ID Medical also has an office in India that handles recruiting and back-office functions.

ID Medical will continue to operate under its existing brand despite the acquisition. Deenu Patel, the CEO of ID Medical, also expressed excitement about joining Aya in their shared mission to transform the global healthcare industry. 

Read how Aya’s expansion across the Atlantic brings the resources needed to improve the quality of ID Medical’s recruitment operations. 

Floyd Lee Locums Secures $23B Contract for VA Staffing Services

Jan. 17, 2024

Floyd Lee Locums announced a partnership with Aspire-LUKE Joint Venture, LLC, securing a 10-year contract valued at $23 billion to support the Department of Veterans Affairs. This contract is part of the Veterans Health Administration’s Integrated Critical Staffing Program (ICSP), a five-year Multiple Award, Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract with an optional five-year extension. 

The ICSP aims to provide temporary clinical and non-clinical staffing services, program management, human capital, and other professional services to fill staffing needs at VA sites nationwide. Floyd Lee earned the contract previously demonstrating its capacity to support military programs, including managing a large-scale intake of refugees at four US military bases and staffing physicians for Medical Disability Examinations for veterans and service members transitioning to civilian life. 

Natasha Lee, CEO and co-founder of Floyd Lee Locums, expressed her pride in the company’s role in supporting the military community and its eagerness to begin working with Aspire-LUKE to serve VA sites across the US.

Floyd Lee has committed to providing quality healthcare staffing solutions and its capability to manage large-scale, complex staffing requirements. The company has grown significantly since its founding in 2017, boasting over 90 internal employees and supporting hundreds of healthcare providers on assignment each week.

Review the press release from Floyd Lee on this new partnership and what it means for the company. 

MPLT Healthcare Names a New VP of Sales

Jan. 24, 2024

MPLT Healthcare recently announced that John Wagner is their new Vice President of Sales. Wagner brings over 20 years of experience in the healthcare staffing industry to his new role at MPLT.

As the Vice President of Sales, Wagner leads MPLT’s recruitment and sales directors while implementing his action plans to boost fill rates, profitability, and market share. 

Jay Mays, MPLT Healthcare’s board chairman, is confident in Wagner’s abilities. 

“John brings with him to MPLT a rich history of success and strategic acumen to MPLT,” says Mays. We are confident that under his leadership, MPLT will continue to expand its reach and deliver exceptional service nationwide.”

In the LinkedIn post, Liz Hale, CEO of MPLT, also expressed her excitement about John’s arrival on the team.

“His extensive experience in the locum tenens industry, strong leadership skills, and ability to build and nurture high-performing sales teams will make him an invaluable asset,” says Hale. 

Hire Power

Join Industry Experts in Shaping the Future of Healthcare Workforce at Becker’s HR Webinar

Jan. 26, 2024

Human Resources + Talent professionals are taking center stage in ensuring a high-performing workforce as the healthcare industry changes. 

Becker’s Healthcare will host a Human Resources + Talent webinar on March 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to engage with human resource officers and other industry experts to discuss ways to navigate the talent challenges and opportunities in the healthcare industry.

The discussion will revolve around strengthening the healthcare leadership pipeline and examining best practices for identifying and nurturing future healthcare leaders to ensure a seamless transition of talent within the industry.

During the event, industry experts and HR thought leaders will share insights on diversity, equity, inclusion, and talent management strategies. Through these discussions, they hope to pave the way for innovative approaches in building a healthcare workforce that is not only future-ready but also committed to providing the highest level of patient care. See how you can register for the event, find the agenda, read profiles of different speakers, and join in on the discussion on March 27. 

Making the Rounds

UNC Health’s Medical Director Advocates for System-Wide Changes to Combat Physician Burnout 

Jan. 24, 2024

In a recent interview with Becker’s Hospital Review, Dr. Nadia Charguia, executive medical director of UNC Health’s integrated well-being program, discussed physicians’ ongoing challenges concerning burnout and their intentions to leave the healthcare profession. To address this issue, Dr. Charguia calls for advocacy and policy changes at a broad level, alongside local initiatives, to engage physicians and better understand their needs while designing meaningful solutions. 

Dr. Charguia states UNC Health is committed to ensuring physicians’ well-being by acknowledging their vulnerability and remaining flexible and inventive in addressing well-being. They do this by prioritizing learning from physicians to understand their needs and barriers within the healthcare system. UNC Health’s core focus revolves around shifting the well-being culture across the healthcare system.

UNC Health initiated various programs and strategies to reduce physician departure. Their efforts emphasize intentional communication between leaders, staff, and physicians to inform meaningful changes. UNC Health also holds listening and learning sessions, which have also been instrumental in kick-starting projects and fostering ongoing dialogue, Dr. Charguia says. Furthermore, UNC Health is exploring similar efforts to engage and empower physicians throughout their healthcare system.

She says recognizing the perceived divide between clinicians and healthcare system leaders and working towards bridging that gap is crucial for physicians’ well-being and the quality of patient care. Read how Dr. Charguia advises healthcare leaders to start with honesty and vulnerability to acknowledge the complexity of physicians’ issues.

Second Opinion

Doctor Highlights Challenges, Possible Solutions in Family Medicine and Primary Care Recruitment

Jan. 23, 2024

Healthcare is facing a workforce crisis in family medicine, according to Dr. Sarah Nosal, a family physician and a member of the board of directors at the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Dr. Nosal called attention to a noticeable decline in candidates for open positions, especially in family medicine and primary care.

Dr. Nosal acknowledges the issue existed even before the COVID-19 pandemic, with estimates from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) indicating a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians by 2034, including a lack of 17,800-48,000 primary care physicians. 

To address this situation, Dr. Nosal calls on provider organizations to adapt to the changing market conditions. The talent pool for hiring clinicians, especially in primary care, has become limited, she says, requiring more flexibility in compensation and benefits. Graduating family doctors are looking for a different work-life balance, and organizations should tailor their offers to accommodate individual needs while negotiating.

Physicians and candidates should proactively communicate their career preferences to negotiate with healthcare organizations. Seeking legal advice, particularly from lawyers who understand healthcare employment contracts, can help clinicians navigate negotiations and avoid pitfalls like restrictive covenants and non-compete clauses that can lead to burnout.

Creating a positive work culture is crucial for both organizations and candidates. Word of mouth and valuing employees can also attract high-quality candidates. Read more about how organizations show commitment by offering reimbursement and new technologies to attract physicians. 

Over Half of U.S. Rural Hospitals Cease Labor Services Amid Financial Struggles

Jan. 23, 2024

Over half of the country’s rural hospitals aren’t providing labor and delivery services, and many rural facilities that still offer maternity care face potential closure due to financial losses, according to a recent report by the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform (CHQPR). 

The study revealed that over the past decade, more than 200 rural hospitals in America have stopped delivering babies. As of January 2024, 55% of rural hospitals do not provide maternity services, and over two-thirds of 10 states lack such services.

CHQPR highlighted some financial challenges of maintaining 24/7 maternity care in rural hospitals, saying private and Medicare payments often fail to cover the costs. Hospital cost reports for 2022 showed more than one-third of rural hospitals still offering maternity care experienced overall financial losses in patient care services, putting their ability to continue maternity care at risk. In 12 states, more than half of rural maternity care hospitals reported losses in patient care services.

Smaller rural communities are particularly vulnerable because of higher losses in maternity care and the likelihood of losses in other patient services. Limited access to maternity care hospitals forces pregnant women in rural areas to travel longer distances, increasing the risk of complications and maternal-infant mortality.

Addressing the decline in rural maternity care requires tackling recruitment challenges and payment issues. CHQPR suggests a national solution is needed for recruitment, as simply filling a position in one hospital may create a vacancy in another. Additionally, improving the rural maternity workforce requires targeted clinician training, remote specialty support, and new staffing models for on-call coverage.

CHQPR urges employers to pressure health insurance plans to demonstrate adequate payment for maternity care services to overcome these financial barriers. They’re calling on states to require Medicaid plans to pay sufficient amounts for such services. Due to insufficient payments, rural hospitals face financial challenges across their other service lines. Read more from Fierce Health about how stakeholders are encouraged to support rural hospitals by choosing insurance plans to compensate them adequately.

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