COVID-19 has put extreme stress on the United States healthcare workforce, causing shortages and increasing fatigue, burnout, and trauma among healthcare workers. Unanswered questions are what the pandemic means to the healthcare workforce, as well as the patients they serve since it's extending on without end.
As a result of COVID-19, the country lost approximately 1.5 million healthcare jobs in the first two months as it shut down clinics and restricted non-emergency services at U.S. hospitals to contain the novel coronavirus. Despite the return of many of those jobs, the number of healthcare workers remains below pre-pandemic levels with a reduction of 176,000 workers compared to February 2020, according to the labor department.
COVID-19 has been exhausting and burnout-inducing for the healthcare workforce. One in three healthcare workers who remain said that they considered quitting during the pandemic. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which analyzes the physician workforce, the United States had nearly 20,000 fewer doctors than needed in 2019. The group estimates that by 2034, the gap could reach as many as 124,000 due to a lack of primary care doctors.
As reported by AAMC, Medscape, and Definitive Healthcare, nearly, 117,000 clinicians and 333,942 healthcare workers left the workforce in 2021. Several specialties reported 60% burnout rates and this number correlates with higher rates of physician loss. Currently, 45% of clinicians are older (>55 years). Hence, in the next 10 days, more than 40% of clinicians will become 65 or older.
According to National Nurses United, an organization that claims 175,000 members across the country, the majority of states have sufficient nurses to meet demand, but hospital staffing and safety policies discourage nurses from working in hospitals.
Some governors, including those in Alabama, Colorado, Maine, New York, and Wisconsin, are pushing for higher compensation for healthcare workers. There have been proposals to expand nurse education programs in Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. A proposal from Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, for example, proposes training more nurses and adding medical residency slots with millions of dollars. Eventually, he said, 1,300 more healthcare workers are to be hired.
COVID-19 has affected hospitals and health systems throughout the nation, and hospitals and health systems are taking action in many ways to help their communities. Despite the slow recovery of hospital volumes, patient acuity and demand have increased. Hospitals have had to incur significant costs in recruiting and retaining employees due to an increase in demand that has not been met by increases in staffing. In the meantime, physicians are fighting against compensation cuts with their employers and the Federal Government. Above all, the major shocking factor is the decision of care providers to make a change as they are unable to put up with the ever-rising demands.
The rise of new technologies makes it possible to be much more flexible when it comes to staffing as well. Here’s the staffing platform named ProLocums for physicians and Voysta for nurses and allied health professionals. They verify the qualifications of healthcare professionals and connect them to employers with open positions in healthcare.
Employers should develop long-term strategies for recruiting and retaining employees if the labor shortage is expected to persist for the next decade. To attract new applicants and create a strong pipeline of future employees, businesses should offer benefits like student loan repayment, referral bonuses, and subsidized housing.
Healthcare workers lost 1.5 million jobs because clinics and hospitals temporarily closed in April 2020 and postponed surgeries to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, multiple studies suggested.
While healthcare employment returned to pre-pandemic levels by the fall of 2020, it still lagged 2.7% behind. Between January 2019 and March 2020, 1.3% of physicians were either unemployed or left the labor force, according to the researchers. This increased to 1.6% by December 2020, then to 1.7% by October 2021.
Hence, many industry stakeholders will be looking for solutions as the healthcare staffing shortage continues. Multiple technologies and effective strategies can be adopted to curb the problem as well as many government initiatives can also help.
In the meantime, address your care facility staffing shortage by signing up ProLocums for hiring physicians or Voysta for hiring nurses and allied health professionals.
It is common knowledge that providers despise paperwork. However, digital credentialing for medical licenses cannot be avoided in this case. By confirming a provider's education and experience, credentialing safeguards the patient. You can speed up the process if you are ready. ProLocums has a few suggestions for helping the process move forward. Before that, let's examine its nature and the reasons for its lengthy duration.
Before a healthcare professional is granted permission to work at a facility, their professional records must be verified through digital credentialing for medical licenses. Credentialing serves many purposes:
Medical credentialing service is used by businesses to make sure that a healthcare professional has the legal right to practice. The credentialing process provides a safety net to prevent unqualified practitioners from working at a facility, although the majority of providers have excellent reputations.
The procedure also looks at a practitioner's experience and skills to see if they meet the legal requirements to practice medicine. This helps lower the likelihood of medical mistakes made by providers who aren't as skilled. Patients want to be able to trust their medical professionals. Maintaining high safety standards in the medical field necessitates credentialing.
Before a practitioner can interact with patients, private health insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid require proof of medical credentialing. Medical procedures will not be reimbursed by these organizations until digital credentialing for medical licenses is complete. Hospitals can't pay you unless they have this billing system.
You will need to complete the credentialing process whether you are hired for a permanent position or working shifts as a locum tenens.
Each office is unique, so timetables to finish the credentialing system can differ extraordinarily. Credentialing can be completed in as little as a few weeks at some facilities. Different offices can require as long as 180 days. The accreditation, requirements, and bylaws of an organization, among other things, influence the credentialing timeline.
Keeping credentialing deadlines in mind is critical when working on locum tenens assignments. For instance, if you want to be ready for the fun of summer, you should probably start getting credentials by Christmas.
Here are some approximate credentialing timeframes, arranged from shortest credential to longest credential, to give you an idea of how long it can take:
|Locum position||Time to credential|
|Emergency physician||4-6 weeks|
|Hospitalist APP||45-90 days|
|Nocturnist NP||6-9 months|
You can't speed up approvals or make the application shorter unless you can change the time. However, you can control some things.
Be ready to list four expert references who can confirm your work insight, work propensities, character, and abilities. Inform your references that they can anticipate receiving an email or phone call asking them to be a reference for you. It might take days or even weeks!
Contact medical credentialing services regularly. To avoid delaying your start date, send any required paperwork and documents as soon as possible. The credentialing process will frequently halt while waiting for your response to requests.
The majority of facilities will require BLS (Basic Life Support), ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support), and PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) if you work in emergency medicine. ATLS and ACLS are the most common certifications, but not all facilities will require them. The requirements for a certificate vary by facility and specialty. In the Midwest, emergency medicine doctors and Advanced Practitioners must be certified in ATLS. CALS, or Comprehensive Advanced Life Support, is used in place of it in some states.
It is the act of causing harm to a patient by a healthcare professional. This can be the aftereffect of carelessness or ineptitude. Misdiagnosis and errors in surgical procedures and prescription drugs are two of the most typical forms of malpractice. Any claims made against a service provider must be known to facilities.
Malpractice information will be included in Certificates of Insurance (COI). All COIs should be kept for at least ten years. If you have ever filed a malpractice claim, some facilities may go back ten years, but most facilities will only go back five years. The information about residency malpractice coverage and other post-graduate malpractice coverage should be included for recent graduates.
Providers benefit from continuing medical education to keep up with advancements in their field and maintain professional competency. The last two years' worth of CMEs will be requested by facilities. The best way to keep track of this information is to use an online tracker. You can send your transcript or all of your CME certificates, which is better. CMEs are not required for new graduates until two years after graduation.
The ProLocums team works with our partner providers to streamline the credentialing process. They coordinate the provider's and facility's entire credentialing, including the initial paperwork and repeat appointments. Although obtaining credentials is never a pleasant process, our knowledgeable staff is responsive and dedicated to ensuring your success and expediting your digital credentialing for medical licenses.
We know how difficult and time-consuming it is to keep track of credentials, so our team will gladly walk you through the process step by step so you don't have to worry.
If you are considering a locum tenens physician career, you need to understand the contract involved with this type of work. This article aims to understand what should one expect in a locum tenens contract. So, keep reading!
When you sign a locum tenens contract, your medical locum agency becomes the owner of your relationship with the facility or health system in which you work for a certain amount of time. This implies you can't straightforwardly contract with or is utilized the well-being framework - or a piece of it - until the agreement lapses or is purchased out.
Normal contract deals with the duration, when, and where an organization claims the relationship. It should also incorporate the date of the last assignment.
Because of the terms and requirements of the contract, it is important to think about when and where you might want to take a more permanent position.
It may be preferable to select "locums to permanent" assignments if you intend to use locum tenens assignments to gain experience with the culture and operations of a health system on your way to a permanent position.
Pay attention to the contract's buy-out clauses and duration if you sign a locum tenens physician contract immediately following residency. If a hospital wants to hire you, you could be a financial risk if they have to wait a certain amount of time or pay a fee to buy out your contract.
Hospitals or health systems that want to hire you may be subject to contract buy-out fees. If you want to change agencies or end your contract early, you might also have to pay a buy-out fee.
Keep in mind that your assignment will not result in a loss for a locum tenens agency.
Perform your due diligence and learn everything you can about the agency's offerings and expectations. At the same time, you should be realistic about your own expectations: neither your family nor your motorcycle will be transported to your new workplace by air.
Locum tenens physician contracts are important to hospitals because they make it easy to add doctors to their patient care teams. Keep that in mind as you negotiate contracts.
It is essential to take the time to get to know an agency before beginning your search along with assignment details, housing options, travel and living arrangements, licensing, and malpractice insurance.
Remember that you can choose what you want to do and where you want to go. Make the effort to locate the ideal match.
Check out the cancellation policies for each assignment that is provided by your medical locum agency. There are rules to follow if the health system or you cancel an assignment. Make sure you read the entire contract in detail.
Make sure you know exactly what will happen if the health system cancels the assignment or you withdraw from an assignment. The health system may require a 30-day notice to avoid paying a fee.
You can also decide to work with a health system directly rather than with a medical locum agency. Contracts for these arrangements contain distinctive elements.
When you work with a medical locum agency, the work that needs to be done is done for you by the agency.
You will need to handle many things on your own if you want to contract directly with a hospital or health system, including credentials and licensing, purchase malpractice insurance, and living and travel expenses.
ProLocums is a medical locum agency that deals with locum tenens recruitment. Our team can help you get started and learn about contracts in detail. Contact ProLocums for more details about contracts. After all, we are here to match providers with the right companies so they can stay happy at work.
It is essential to be cost-effective in all aspects of facility management in today's rapidly shifting healthcare landscape. However, organizations sometimes do not realize that if they do not fill open staff positions, they could be losing money. Hiring locum tenens providers via medical staffing solutions can be an effective strategy for maintaining revenue. Let's examine why in detail:
When you have an open position on your medical staff, you pay for it. For a variety of reasons, having insufficient essential providers on staff can result in higher costs than hiring locum tenens providers to fill in. Patients must seek specialized care elsewhere if the opening is for a specialist position and you do not have another provider who can perform those responsibilities. This indicates that you are not billing for those services, resulting in a loss of significant funds that are likely going to a rival.
Due to the nationwide staffing shortage, filling certain positions can take a long time given the current state of the healthcare industry. Because the cost of a locum provider is less than losing that business entirely, hiring a locum tenens provider to fill in while you continue your search can be a cost-effective method of maintaining that income flow.
If you have open positions on your medical team, other staff members are likely to step in to fill them. After attempting to keep up with demand for an extended period, it can quickly result in your permanent staff members experiencing burnout and workload. For your full-time employees, using locum tenens providers to fill in the gaps and shoulder some of the workloads can make a big difference.
Your permanent staff's morale and retention can be greatly enhanced by reducing workload and allowing them to recharge. Take care of your current staff and avoid losing anyone else if you are already experiencing staffing shortages. Staff who work as locum tenens can help you avoid that position.
When you are short-staffed, you may not only be unable to bill for services, but you may also suffer from decreased patient satisfaction and outcomes. Patients will be dissatisfied with their experience at your facility if they are unable to schedule appointments, have to wait a long time to get an appointment on the calendar or both.
If the situation is time-sensitive, prolonged wait times can also result in worse outcomes, and patients may be less likely to return for additional care after a bad experience. Patients are aware when they are dealing with exhausted and dissatisfied staff members during their visits, which adds stress to the situation. In order to fill in these care gaps, locum tenens coverage can reduce patient wait times and ensure that patients receive the care they need on time, leading to higher levels of patient satisfaction.
Occasionally, it can be extremely challenging to find a permanent staff member for certain positions. This could be because the position is so demanding or because the facility is located in a more remote area. Locum tenens advanced practice providers may be able to ease the burden if your facility is going through a prolonged search for a new physician.
Depending on your facility's requirements, these medical professionals may be a cost-effective means of obtaining coverage for specific roles. Physicians and physician assistants can assist with a wide range of patient care requirements, assisting in the reduction of operational costs, the preservation of volume, and, most importantly, the preservation of high-quality patient care. Again, providing locum coverage with NPs and PAs by connecting with medical staffing solutions can help alleviate pressure on your permanent staff.
If your facility is experiencing a staffing shortage, it is essential to implement measures to safeguard revenue streams, prevent burnout among your other employees, maintain patient satisfaction, and continue providing high-quality care. An excellent and cost-effective solution to these issues may be provided by locum tenens providers. When it comes to getting the coverage you want, working with a reputable medical staffing solution can be crucial. ProLocums is here to assist you. So, contact us right away for more details!