Locum Tenens Advanced Practice Providers - Dispelling the Myths
Several myths exist about hiring Locum Tenens Providers in a Medical Practice.
Physician shortages are projected to grow to approximately 63,000 doctors by the year 2015 according the Association of American Medical Colleges. With that projected shortage, more and more practices are shifting their thinking about hiring both Locum Tenens Doctors as well as the role of Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) taking on more responsibility in the practice. Many specialties (i.e. Psych/Mental Health and Cardio-Thoracic surgery are already feeling the pinch and becoming more open to hiring APPs on a Locum Tenens basis.
Here are some of the primary myths which AdvancedPractice.com Account Managers are happy to address with anyone in healthcare considering new ways of approaching their healthcare business.
1. Locum Tenens Providers are Expensive
In reality, a contract or contract-to-perm (locum tenens) provider can be a highly cost-effective staffing strategy. In terms of revenue, most APPs generate revenue for their practices. Rather than turning away patients for when a doctor is unavailable, many APPs can handle a variety of duties that keep the patient traffic flowing smoothly through the office. Further, APPs can do 80 percent of what a physician can do at less than half of the cost.
As with any other staffing situation in other industries, contract-to-perm can be the most efficient way of trying out the Provider before making a full-time commitment. The most economically sound decision is to find the right person who will stick around for years and years, rather than hire quickly, just to fill a slot and then find the practice experiences a “revolving door” on the position.
Recruiting fees associated with Locum Tenens take into account a provider’s malpractice insurance, as well as time and costs associated with credentialing and licensing where applicable. The provider is also responsible for their own healthcare insurance and any other “benefits” that an employer would usually pay if they were working for them as a traditional full-time employee.
Many employers still make the mistake of thinking that a Locums Provider should make the same hourly rate without benefits as one of their full time employers earns.
In early 2012 AdvancedPractice.com will be releasing results of its first APP Salary/Compensation survey which should prove to be a good resource for employers trying to benchmark their compensation practices.
2. The process of finding Locum labor is much more intense and time consuming than hiring a full- time Provider.
The more specialized the agency, the more likely they are to have a pool of pre-screened candidates ready to go to work. Because the staffing company does both credentialing and licensing in all 50 states, they leave little to no work to the staff at the facility. They are likely faster and more efficient because this is all they are focused on doing. Literally they have their segment of the market within a laser-like focus. When time is money, finding a firm with the back-office systems, financial resources and large pool of candidates is the key to having both a successful and quick placement.
3. Being treated by a locums APP is different than being treated by a staff APP.
Locum Tenens APPs are held to the same high standards of professionalism as their full-time counterparts. They must have the same or higher credentials or experience. Healthcare staffing agencies credential Locum Tenens Providers with as much rigor as medical facilities do when interviewing/hiring on their own.
For more information about how to calculate your cost/benefit hiring strategy, contact us at 877.740.0404 or email: email@example.com