Drawing qualified physicians to a rural community can be challenging. It takes time, effort, and resources – and let’s face it, your facility often needs someone now. Helping you fill your staffing needs quickly with top doctors is just one benefit of turning to Global Medical Staffing.
There are many reasons to use locums for help filling shortages – and the benefits are great. Some benefits include:
Physicians are the revenue generators at your healthcare facility. They see patients and bill for it, do surgeries, conduct procedures, order tests, and order follow-up care. They are the way you make money. In fact, each doctor generates an average of more than $1.56 million a year in net revenue, according to a study by Irving-based Merritt Hawkins.
In other words, you can’t afford not to bring one in when you’re short staffed.
“You need a good patient base that’s growing and maintaining over time to stay in business. Any little glitch in staffing can make a big difference – or the patient will go elsewhere,” explains Matt Richards, national accounts executive at Global Medical Staffing.
Proper billing means that a locums physician will pay for himself/herself many times over.
2. Patients need the care
Getting the right care quickly can literally make the difference between life and death in many cases.
Additionally, being able to get care locally, instead of driving a hundred or more miles away to another hospital or clinic, saves people lots of money and hassle. A study by the University of Iowa estimated that patients can save about $5,600 a year in transportation and other related expenses (like missed time at work, lodging, and other personal expenses of accompanying friends or family members) by being able to get care at their local hospital and avoiding transfer to a larger hospital.
3. Providing care locally keeps money in the community
Private practices, healthcare clinics, and hospitals are bedrocks of a community, especially in rural towns. On average, every hospital job supports two additional jobs, and every dollar spent by a hospital supports $2.30 of additional business activity, according to the American Hospital Association’s January 2017 report.
Each private practice physician, on average, supports 17.1 jobs, including an additional 11 jobs above and beyond the clinical and administrative personnel for each $1 million of revenue generated by a physician practice, according to the American Medical Association.
It’s important to keep rural healthcare facilities strong with a growing patient base, which means offering services when people need them, without having to wait too long to see a physician – even if that requires turning to a locum tenens physician.
4. Fill positions with top physicians who love rural communities
“We have a unique physician pool,” Richards says. “Many of our doctors have provided services overseas in Guam and New Zealand and in other areas of need. To go overseas, physicians need a stellar resume and outstanding skills. They have the right training, the right skillset, and the best background. These physicians are at the highest level.”
Richards says that these physicians also have the right service mentality. They want to help.
“They have great appreciation for rural healthcare. They come back from overseas assignments and tell us that they want to do the same thing here in the U.S. They love rural communities,” Richards says.
5. A locums can help in numerous situations
We can help if you’re looking to hire a permanent doctor by giving you the time to do a proper search – while bringing in revenue and serving your patients. A locums can also cover for a doctor on sabbatical or vacation.
“We also do a lot of seasonal work,” Richards says. “During the summertime, my friend’s medical practice in Louisiana triples – and he brings in a locum tenens. We also see this with clients in rural ski resort towns where their practice explodes in the wintertime with injured tourists. Bringing in a locums can help you cover the workload and capture the additional revenue.”
Another reason to hire a locums is when you’re starting a new practice.
“We also see growing communities choose to hire a locums to lay the groundwork to get a new medical practice up and running. It makes it nicer for the permanent physician to come into a practice that is already going. A lot of physicians don’t want to start from scratch again,” Richards says, “and are more likely to join if the practice is already established.”
6. Reduce physician burnout
Physician burnout numbers are staggering. The Physician Workload Survey 2018 reports that 52 percent of physicians feel burned out. Additionally, 80 percent of physicians already feel overextended or are at capacity, with no time to see additional patients, according to a Merritt-Hawkins survey.
Keeping current physicians from burning out means properly staffing your hospital, private practice, or clinic.
“Doctors are becoming overworked,” Richards says. “Healthcare facilities need to help them. Using a locums means that facilities can handle patient loads without having their physicians burn out.”
Get started today, so that you have a pool of physicians to turn to during shortages.
Have questions? Talk to one of our representatives to learn more. You can call us toll-free from the U.S. and Canada at 1.866.858.6269.
Kari Redfield is a professional content marketing writer. She also is a novelist and writes for newsstand magazines and has had work appear in publications such as Arizona Highways, Sedona Magazine, and American Fitness. And like the locums physicians profiled in these stories, she loves the flexibility and new experiences that her unique job provides, and loves to travel. She has been known to spend weeks in the U.S. West in her Aliner, checking out classic trad rock climbs, epic mountain bike rides, and other adventures while writing from the road.