While at first glance, using locum tenens coverage may not seem like the solution to a healthcare organization's problems, there are five distinct reasons why they benefit from the use of locum tenens physicians and other providers.
The profit a healthcare provider brings to a facility depends solely on the number of patients they are able to safely see each day. This is a finite number. So what happens when one provider is maxed out each day, but the facility wants to increase the number of patients seen each day and thus their revenue? The logical step would be to hire another provider. However, facilities are not always able to support a full-time permanent provider while the patient load is building. This is where locum tenens providers can be a major asset to healthcare facilities. Locum tenens providers can help facilities grow their patient load until it is ready to support another full-time permanent provider. Locum tenens providers can be flexible with their work schedules and can slowly work up to full time as more and more patients visit a healthcare facility.
For physician jobs the average time to fill an open need can range from 3 months to 1 full year depending on the specialty and location. Instead of closing their doors and leaving many people without access to care during the search, facilities can hire locum tenens providers to fill in until the perfect permanent provider is found. Locum tenens providers will continue to see patients, giving populations access to healthcare while still bringing in revenue for that healthcare facility. While a healthcare facility is looking for a new permanent provider, a locum tenens provider can step in and keep the facility open for business.
When healthcare providers are away from their healthcare facilities, it means lost revenue for the facility and can also mean angry patients dealing with appointment cancellations, longer waiting times, etc. Bringing in a locum tenens provider when a permanent provider is absent keeps everyone happy. The permanent provider is able to better balance their work and their personal lives, which in turn allows them to give better care to their patients. On the other hand, patients will not have canceled appointments and will have normal waiting times, keeping them happy as well. And finally, hiring a locum tenens provider means facilities will not lose revenue while their permanent provider is on vacation or sick.
Managing risk in healthcare facilities is vitally important, especially as the cost of medical malpractice insurance continues to rise. Locum tenens providers can give facilities less risk than permanent placement providers. For instance, at Medestar, before any locum tenens provider starts working, they must go through a rigorous internal quality assurance check as well as a quality assurance check with each individual facility in which they are planning to work. By the time they start working, they have already been through two quality assurance checks, giving healthcare facilities peace of mind that the locum tenens provider is qualified and capable of doing their job safely. In addition, facilities do not have to pay for medical malpractice insurance for their locum tenens healthcare providers. This means that on the off chance a locum tenens provider is sued for something while working in a facility, the healthcare facility will not have to deal with the financial burden nor the patient reaction.
Let's say your facility bills nearly a million dollars to Medicare for Orthopedic Surgery services. If your surgeon leaves or suddenly falls ill, the loss of revenue can be catastrophic for your facility. Not only will you be unable to bill for services, but your patients will have to be referred out to other facilities. Over time, this will cause patients to switch providers or negatively affect your community's access to care. Whenever a need arises, it is more cost-effective to fill the vacancy with a locum tenens provider than to disrupt the continuity of care.
Curative provides you with an experienced team, one agreement, and one-on-one personal service for all of your physician and advanced practice healthcare staffing needs. Through our consultants, we arrange travel, malpractice and privileging to provide you with the most qualified providers. No matter your needs — cover a holiday period or staff a rural area in need —we can help you recruit quality talent with ease and convenience. Find out more about our locum tenens services.