At first glance, using locum tenens coverage may not seem like a long-term solution to a facility’s shortage of physicians; however, this is not necessarily the case. There are many benefits that come along with using a locum tenens staffing agency to fill the needed positions. At Mint Physician Staffing, we have extensive knowledge and experience working with locum tenens physicians and we have come up with the top five reasons facilities should use a locum tenens staffing agency.
1. Using locum tenens physicians helps build patient volumes.
The profit from a health care facility is solely based upon the number of patients they can see each day. In order to attend to more patients, an obvious solution would be to hire more physicians. However, some facilities are unable to support a full time permanent provider. But by bringing on locums providers, facilities can increase their patient volume without having to fully onboard a new physician.
2. There is no gap in treatment when locum tenens are used.
Facilities can hire locum tenens providers to fill in while permanent physicians are out of the office for extended periods. This keep patient volume and satisfaction up, as patients will not have to wait until the permanent physician is back at the office. Locum tenens providers can continue to see patients, facilities lose no revenue, and the full-time physician gets to take the time they need: A win for all!
3. The use of locum tenens physicians can prevent burnout.
Many people experience burnout in a job after a significant amount of time. For physicians, their job is especially trying and emotionally taxing. Facilities that utilize locum tenens can alleviate some of the work load from the permanent physicians, thus improving physician satisfaction and retention.
4. Facilities have better risk management.
Facilities do not have to pay for medical malpractice insurance for their locum tenens physicians. In fact, using a locum tenens physician eliminates the professional component of medical malpractice risk. When properly contracted with your locum tenens agency, the cost to defend and the payout, if any, will be borne by the locum tenens agency.
5. Locum tenens are more cost efficient than using permanent placement providers.
Upon close inspection, locum tenens can be a better option for healthcare facility’s budget. For locum tenens, the physician staffing agency is responsible for the majority of the costs whereas for more permanent physicians, the facility will be responsible for the majority of their expenses. When compared on an apples-to-apples basis, a permanent provider on staff costs about the same as a locum tenens provider. Locum tenens includes medical malpractice, all other insurance such as general liability and all taxes. Many locum tenens providers are also open to full-time permanent positions. Locum tenens allows you and the provider an opportunity to “test drive” each other to ensure a mutually beneficial fit.