Locums Digest #73 | Locums Growth Hits 21%; Financial Dynamics of Locums; Jim Stone’s Odyssey; AMN Revenue Tanks; Floyd Lee, All Star Promotions & More

And, we’re back!

No, your eyes don’t deceive you. After taking a break for nearly a month to hatch some exciting new tools for the locum tenens biz, we’re excited to bring you a new edition of Locums Digest. Read on for a plethora of major $$$ news about the industry, some big moves at big agencies and a big move at a small one, the anesthesia provider shortage, and so much more. As always, we thank you for being here!

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SIA: Good Times Keep Rolling for Locum Tenens with 21% Growth

May 24, 2024 | Staffing Industry Analysts

According to Staffing Industry Analysts’ recent Pulse Survey report, overall temporary staffing revenue fell by 1% year-over-year in April, an improvement from the 5% drop reported in February. 

Locum tenens stood out among staffing segments with an average revenue growth of 21% year-over-year in April. In other healthcare segments, travel nursing suffered a significant 21% decline, and per diem nursing dropped by 3%. Among other segments, direct hire and retained search revenue growth remained flat.

To remain competitive, 55% of staffing firms increased their sales headcount, while 46% boosted marketing spend and introduced internal incentives for new business. Despite mixed results, the overall trend indicates a stabilizing temporary staffing market. 

Members can download selected highlights of the report, while only participating agencies may access the full report.

La Vida Locum

Vista: Stressed Healthcare Professionals Find Relief in Peer Support Networks

May 13, 2024 | Vista Staffing

According to a survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 50% of healthcare workers report burnout symptoms. Vista Staffing believes peer support networks could play a vital role in providing clinicians with a space to share their experiences and learn practical coping strategies.

Peer support networks in healthcare demonstrate significant benefits, as shown by Vista’s real-world examples: 

  • HealthPartners in Minnesota, where structured peer meetings improved staff morale and reduced burnout.
  • A peer support group for physicians at Mayo Clinic reportedly increased job satisfaction and reduced isolation. 
  • Kaiser Permanente uses theatrical presentations as peer support.
  • The UK’s NHS Practitioner Health program provides individual and group support to reduce workplace stress. 

Peer support, rooted in understanding and shared experiences, empowers healthcare workers to sustain their positive mental health. 

Weatherby: The Financial Dynamics of Hiring Locum Tenens Physicians

June 3, 2024 | Weatherby Healthcare

Physicians are vital revenue generators for healthcare facilities, contributing an average of $2.4 million annually per doctor. With a looming physician shortage of up to 124,000 by 2034, the financial implications of unfilled positions are significant. A 2023 study by the Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (AAPPR) revealed that filling a physician vacancy takes an average of 240 days for specialists and 125 days for primary care physicians, with recruitment costs ranging from $30,000 to $90,000 per hire.

Locum tenens staffing offers a cost-effective solution to mitigate these gaps. By hiring temporary physicians, healthcare organizations can maintain revenue streams and service levels. According to the 2024 State of Locum Tenens Report by CHG Healthcare, 46% of healthcare organizations use locum tenens to prevent revenue loss. Michael DePaolis of Weatherby Healthcare highlights the financial sense of locum tenens, emphasizing its role in sustaining operations during staffing voids.

Locum tenens staffing also addresses other coverage needs, such as vacations, family and medical leave, and census spikes. While contracting locum tenens does incur costs, including physician pay and malpractice insurance, it significantly reduces the time to get physicians on site compared to traditional recruitment, ensuring quicker revenue generation.

Additionally, the use of locum tenens can enhance physician retention by reducing burnout and uneven workload distribution among permanent staff, which improves patient outcomes and satisfaction, ultimately impacting reimbursement potential positively.

Quality assurance is a critical component, with staffing agencies credentialing locum tenens physicians to expedite their integration into facilities. Furthermore, locum tenens assignments can serve as a trial period for potential permanent hires, ensuring a good fit both clinically and culturally.

Medicus Whitepaper: Nationwide Anesthesia Provider Shortage Intensifies

June 3, 2024  | Medicus Healthcare Solutions

The healthcare industry is facing a significant shortage of anesthesiologists and CRNAs. By 2036, the U.S. may have a shortfall of 13,500 to 86,000 physicians, with anesthesia providers comprising a large portion of this deficit. This shortage poses challenges to healthcare revenue, operations, and patient care.

There are currently 51,492 active anesthesiologists and 65,745 active CRNAs. By 2036, a shortage of up to 6,300 anesthesiologists is projected, with CRNA shortages expected, particularly in rural areas. By 2025, a shortage of up to 450,000 nurses for direct patient care is also anticipated.

Demand for anesthesiologists and CRNAs will continue to grow. Anesthesiologist employment is projected to increase by 2.6% from 2022 to 2032, with 1,000 job openings annually. CRNA employment is expected to grow by 9% over the same period, with 4,500 annual job openings.

Surgical services, which account for about 60% of a facility’s revenue, are particularly affected by staffing shortages. Ensuring adequate staffing in the OR is critical for maintaining revenue and continuity of care. Burnout among anesthesia providers exacerbates these challenges, with 50% of anesthesiologists and 56% of CRNAs reporting burnout in 2024.

To address the shortage, many healthcare facilities are turning to locum tenens anesthesiologists and CRNAs to fill critical roles and supplement existing staff, ensuring continuous patient care and operational stability.

Download the full whitepaper to get the full lowdown. 

Locum Leaders

Odyssey Staffing Names Jim Stone Executive Advisor

May 31, 2024  | Odyssey Staffing 

Longtime healthcare staffing executive Jim Stone recently made waves when he casually announced on LinkedIn that he had accepted a role with Odyssey Staffing as executive advisor. Stone joins the Odyssey team after his tenure at Curative Talent, where he served as executive chair on the board for two years and as interim president for one year.

“I’m excited about working with Erick [Barnett] and the folks at Odyssey,” Stone said. “I’m impressed with their team and where they are headed.“

Stone began his career in 1995 in a business development role at Merritt, Hawkins, & Associates before joining r3 Health Partners, where he expanded the team to 80 consultants. He later co-founded The Medicus Firm and served as president for 18 years, transforming it through mergers and acquisitions into a physician and advanced practice provider search firm.

Stone is also known for his advocacy on behalf of physician recruiters, serving on the ethics, education, and vendor services committee before becoming the president of the National Association of Physician Recruiters from 2013 to 2014. 

We’ll cover this news in-depth in a new Locums Brief dropping soon!

AMN Revenue Drops 27% in Q1 Amid Decreased Demand for Nurse Staffing 

May 10, 2024 | Staffing Industry Analysts

AMN Healthcare Services reported a 27% decline in revenue for the first quarter of 2024, bringing in $821 million compared to the previous year. The decrease was mainly due to reduced demand in the nurse staffing segment. However, there were notable gains in other areas. Revenue from physician and leadership solutions rose by nearly 14%, and locum tenens revenue surged by 36% to $145 million, largely thanks to AMN’s acquisition of MSDR.

Allied health revenue decreased by 13%, and travel nurse revenue plunged by 44%. Additionally, AMN’s nursing and allied solutions segment experienced a significant 37% revenue decline. Technology and workforce solutions revenue fell by 17%, mainly due to a substantial 46% drop in vendor management systems revenue.

Looking ahead, AMN forecasts a continued revenue decline in the second quarter of 2024, projecting a year-over-year drop between 24% and 26%. Nurse and allied solutions revenue is expected to decrease by 36%, technology and workforce solutions revenue is anticipated to fall by 12%, and physician and leadership solutions are projected to grow by 10%. 

Jenn Schultheis Spearheads Growth as Floyd Lee Locums’ New Senior VP

June 3, 2024 | Floyd Lee Locums

Floyd Lee Locums announced the promotion of Jenn Schultheis to Senior Vice President of Growth. Previously, she served as Vice President of Business Development.

Her strategic approach helped Floyd Lee Locums land significant government contracts, including major bids with Veterans Affairs hospitals and the U.S. Department of Defense. In her new role, Schultheis will continue to drive growth and innovation across government relations, client services, and business development. 

“Jenn’s impact has been immeasurable, and I am beyond excited to continue working alongside her as we navigate the future of locum tenens staffing,” said Chief Operating Officer Nicole Burleson. 

Schultheis joined Floyd Lee Locums during the COVID-19 pandemic, and her expertise in startups contributed to the company’s growth and resilience during challenging times. Under her leadership, Floyd Lee Locums has established partnerships with several of the top 20 largest hospital systems in the U.S. 

“Her promotion is not just a testament to her work,” said Burleson, “but also to the extraordinary future that lies ahead for her and our entire organization.”

All Star Healthcare Solutions Promotes Anthony Szydlowski to Chief Legal Officer

June 6, 2024 | PR Newswire

All Star Healthcare Solutions recently announced the promotion of Anthony Szydlowski to Chief Legal Officer. 

Szydlowski joined All Star as General Counsel, Vice President five years ago, contributing to All Star’s “Red Carpet Service.” In his new role, Szydlowski will provide strategic legal advice to support the company’s growth, manage legal compliance, and oversee litigation. 

Prior to joining All Star in 2019, Szydlowski served as general counsel to Phoenix Tower International LLC and Landmark Apartment Trust, Inc. He also served as assistant general counsel to RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd., in Bermuda, and as associate with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in New York as well as Greenspoon Marder PA, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

During his All Star tenure, Szydlowski has contributed to its legal strategies and played a key role in navigating complex legal landscapes. Bernstein said his efforts helped secure All Star’s position as a leader in the healthcare staffing industry. 

“We are grateful for and will continue to rely on his expert knowledge of the healthcare staffing industry,” Bernstein said, “and the evolving legislative landscape as we keep growing the company.”

Hire Power

AMA Targets Stigmatizing Language in Credentialing Applications

May 13, 2024 | American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is pushing for reforms in physician credentialing applications to better support mental health and well-being.

An article from the AMA highlights the issue of credentialing applications stigmatizing mental health care by placing questions about mental health alongside inquiries about felonies or malpractice. Dr. Steven Defossez, vice president of clinical integration at Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association, said this deters physicians from seeking help because they are aware that dozens of people will see their answers.

In a recent AMA Update podcast, Dr. Stefanie Simmons, chief medical officer at the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation, emphasized the need to view mental health care as a strength rather than a weakness. Simmons and Defossez talked about Massachusetts’ initiative to remove stigmatizing questions from credentialing applications, a move fully backed by the Foundation.

A key tenant of AMA’s Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program emphasizes removing invasive or stigmatizing language around mental health and substance use conditions in credentialing applications. The initiative aims to create a more supportive environment for healthcare professionals.

ClearlyRated Unveils Brand Refresh

May 29, 2024 | ClearlyRated

ClearlyRated recently revealed its brand refresh as “The CX Platform for Staffing Firms.”

ClearlyRated is an independent research firm founded in 2003 utilizing Net Promoter Score surveys that help staffing firms gain insights into their client satisfaction. In 2008, the company introduced client satisfaction surveys and paired those with service excellence awards. Each year, ClearlyRated releases its “Best of Staffing” list, which has become a coveted award for locum tenens agencies.  

ClearlyRated launched its own specific client survey program in 2018 to help B2B service firms of all sizes measure client satisfaction. Two years later, it introduced the employee satisfaction survey to provide B2B firms with actionable feedback to help them retain staff and create engaging workplaces. According to Eric Gregg, CEO and Founder of ClearlyRated, the company’s official rebranding as the “CX Platform for Staffing Firms” reinforces its commitment to improving client satisfaction in the staffing industry. 

ClearlyRated offers its customers continuous visibility in the healthcare staffing industry. Their mission remains to deliver actionable, real-time insights that help drive staffing firm growth.

Making the Rounds

Expanding Physician Assistants’ Roles Could Alleviate Doctor Shortage

May 16, 2024 | Salon

The average wait time for a doctor’s appointment in U.S. cities is 26 days, with rural residents often facing longer delays. According to Nicole Wadsworth, Dean of NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, the nationwide physician shortage significantly contributes to the issue, but there is a viable solution.

Physician assistants (PAs) could play a crucial role in mitigating the shortage. Over the past decade, the number of board-certified PAs has increased by more than 75%, yet many states restrict PAs from practicing to the full extent of their training. 

Physician groups often support these limitations emphasizing patient safety concerns. The financial aspect also plays a role, as insurance companies typically reimburse less for services provided by PAs compared to doctors. Allowing PAs to fully leverage their training could improve patient access to care without compromising safety.

New Doximity Study Reveals Wage Concerns Facing Healthcare Industry

May 23, 2024 | MorningStar

Doximity’s 2024 Physician Compensation Report revealed significant gender wage gaps and increased physician burnout despite an increase in overall compensation. The report includes data collected from more than 33,000 full-time U.S. physicians in 2023.

Report highlights include:

  • The average physician pay increased by 6% last year, a slight rebound from 2% in 2022.
  • In 2023, the gender pay gap for physicians dipped slightly to 23%, down from 26% in 2022 and 28% in 2021. By comparison, male physicians earn $102,000 more than female physicians.
  • Just 40% of physicians surveyed reported they are satisfied with their current salary and compensation package.
  • 75% of physicians surveyed said they’d be willing to accept, or have already accepted, less pay for more autonomy or work-life balance.
  • 81% of physicians reported they are overworked; 59% said they are considering an employment change; 30% said they’re considering early retirement.
  • 88% of physicians said that their practice has been affected by the physician shortage; 74% described the shortage as moderate or severe.

Due to the shortage, most surveyed physicians reported experiencing overwork or burnout (67%) and diminished job satisfaction (60%). Additionally, 27% of physicians stated they have faced anxiety or depression. 

Read the full report here.

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