According to a new report from Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), it’s been estimated that the healthcare staffing industry grew by 85% in 2021 to $39.8 billion. While much of the growth was attributed to the 150% increase in the travel nurse segment, allied health and per diem saw 50% increases, along with a 13% increase in revenue for locum tenens.
Healthcare staffing has exploded in the past two years. In addition to COVID-19-related downstream effects, an aging physician population has meant an increasing number of physicians are entering retirement, resulting in numerous openings needing to be filled by temporary providers. Furthermore, scarcity of in-demand specialists and burnout for many physicians is at an all time high. So where is the industry heading?
SIA projects a decline of 20% in revenue for the travel nurse segment in 2022 and 2023 after a red hot 2021. However, the decline comes from a reduction in bill rates – which had exponentially increased in the pandemic era – not a significant decline in volume. To put this in perspective, in 2020, the average travel bill rate was $90/hour, a number that ballooned to $125/hour in 2021. As Coronavirus cases continue to subside, the crisis rates faced by many healthcare organizations will no longer be applicable in the foreseeable future.
Additionally, SIA forecasts a 10% decline in allied health for 2022 and 2023, after achieving rapid growth in 2021, reaching $6.5 billion in revenue. While the decline is due to the same factors impacting the travel nurse segment, the market is still expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels, avoiding a dramatic decline. This can be attributed to the flexibility of allied health professionals, who are able to gain the necessary credentials needed to practice in a short time; an attractive value proposition for healthcare organizations looking to quickly fill open positions.
Locum tenens is the only staffing segment that SIA projects will see an increase, with projections reaching $4.2 billion in 2022, representing a 7% Year-over-Year increase. In 2021, SIA data reveals that locum tenens declined as COVID-19 peaked, but rebounded quickly once the surge had declined. Due to this trend, SIA predicts the temporary physician segment to continue solid growth, assuming that the Coronavirus will continue to be contained.
The macro level outlook for the healthcare staffing industry continues to look positive both in the short-term and the long-term. If you’re looking to leverage locum tenens or longer-term providers to bridge gaps in coverage, simply fill out the form below and one of Curative’s expert consultants will get in touch to learn more about your hiring needs.