Posts Tagged ‘locum tenens’

Guest Post: 3 Key Reasons Companies Should Embrace Corporate Clinics

September 26th, 2017 by Rob Indresano, COO, Barton Associates

A number of large corporations are taking a unique approach to healthcare by employing a resident physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant to tend to the needs of workers and their families.

Models range from small clinics, such as the CVS Minute Clinic, to larger facilities that offer a full array of primary care services. While many companies opt to house the clinics on-site, some organizations have partnered with internal branches or outside firms to provide healthcare services at off-site locations.

For companies and employees alike, corporate clinics are an attractive option. These clinics keep costs in-house, giving companies greater control of healthcare expenditures. Corporate clinics can also reduce the time employees take off work to receive basic medical care, encouraging workers to seek routine care more regularly. In turn, this leads to better overall employee health and fewer sick days.

Better yet, these in-house clinics are available to employees as well as their dependents. Corporations spend less money to provide employees and their loved ones with more and better care. It’s a win-win situation.

The corporate clinic movement stems from a dramatic rise in overall healthcare costs and the amount of time employees aren’t at work for minor medical issues. The movement stuck because employees and their families became healthier and happier, with productivity booming for companies that adopted the model.

As corporate clinics became more popular, many factors combined to guarantee their success. Locum tenens, for instance, made it possible for corporations to seamlessly launch and staff corporate clinics as the need arose. Telemedicine continues to grow in popularity — Kaiser Permanente reported 52 percent of its 110 million patient visits in 2015 were done via telemedicine — making it possible for corporations to expand the scope of care while driving down costs.

Making the Case for In-House Care

The average American spends more than 90,000 hours at work over the course of her life. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted, personal and family health problems cost companies about $226 billion annually in lost productivity. It’s easy to understand why a healthy work environment is vital to a happy and productive workforce.

Some companies already enjoy the benefits of on-site clinics. The clinics bring employees everything from primary and preventive healthcare to physical therapy, pharmacists, dentists, optometrists, and more. These clinics help lower insurance costs, improve health and job satisfaction, and increase productivity.

Toyota in 2007 opened a $9 million corporate clinic at its San Antonio truck manufacturing plant. The company has reported a 33 percent decrease in specialist referrals and a 25 percent drop in employee visits to urgent care clinics and emergency rooms.

Intel had similar goals when the technology titan launched its own corporate clinics in 2011. Company officials hoped workers would be more likely to visit the in-house doctors, ideally curtailing chronic issues such as heart disease and diabetes in the process. The company paid about $1 million to build and another $1.5 million to operate each clinic, though Intel has since managed to break even on those operating costs.

Employers enjoy short-term benefits such as greater control over direct costs for specialist visits, prescriptions, and trips to the emergency room. In the long run — and perhaps more important — corporate clinics can help establish new healthcare policies and wellness programs to promote healthier lifestyle choices for employees.

How Corporate Clinics Will Change the Business World

With perpetually increasing healthcare costs and a tremendous potential for return on investment, the corporate clinic model is set to alter healthcare and business in three important ways:

1. Reduced healthcare spending. Corporations with on-site or near-site health services spend less money on healthcare. It’s as simple as that. HanesBrands, for example, reports saving about $1.40 for every $1 the company spends on its in-house clinic. Companies can then take that savings and instead invest in other business-related purposes.

2. Healthier, happier, and more productive employees. Rather than taking time off work to visit a doctor or risking lost income, employees often forgo care for relatively minor issues. This becomes problematic, considering the chronic diseases doctors often detect through repeat visits account for 75 percent of U.S. healthcare spending. Easy access to primary care services means employees are willing and able to see on-site providers for more routine health concerns they might have otherwise neglected.

3. Greater transparency regarding treatment costs. Almost everyone has received a bill from his insurance at some point listing a litany of codes and featuring a hefty amount due at the end. On the flip side of that coin, most physicians are kept in the dark about the costs of treatments so they can prioritize patient care above all else. Corporate clinics can alleviate some of the secrecy surrounding healthcare costs by being transparent about employee treatment. This can actually lead to improved care and lowered costs, with on-site physicians working in tandem with company leaders to drive down expenses.

As more companies find value in corporate clinics, an increasing number of large corporations will likely bring medical services in-house to help drive down bloated healthcare costs. Mid-sized businesses might also be tempted to explore the possibility of creating their own clinics given the potential cost savings. The shift will help foster a culture of health in the United States that benefits employers, employees, and communities.

Rob Indresano, Chief Operations Officer, Barton Associates

About the Author: Rob Indresano is president and COO of Barton Associates, a national recruiting and staffing firm based in the Boston area that specializes in temporary healthcare assignments. Rob is responsible for managing operations as well as the company’s strategic vision. Before joining the Barton team, Rob was vice president and general counsel for Oxford Global Resources Inc. and corporate counsel for Oracle Corp.

HIN Disclaimer: The opinions, representations and statements made within this guest article are those of the author and not of the Healthcare Intelligence Network as a whole. Any copyright remains with the author and any liability with regard to infringement of intellectual property rights remain with them. The company accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.

Guest Post: What’s the Future of Locum Tenens?

February 26th, 2013 by Adam Ghosh

The locum tenens experience provides exposure to different styles of healthcare and more diverse patient lists.

Guest blogger Adam Ghosh, a researcher in the medical field, examines the impact of a surge of newly insured on the healthcare industry, and the role of the locum tenens during this transition.

The landscape of the health industry is quickly changing. Come 2014, when the final pieces of legislation under the Affordable Healthcare Act are implemented, more individuals will have access to doctors and healthcare professionals than ever before. What does this mean for hospitals and practices across the United States? An increase, and not just a small one: a 32 million American increase.

With this added pressure to a sector of society that is already experiencing shortages, what does this mean to the traveling healthcare professional? Simply put, universities and institutions across the United States will not be able to graduate enough physicians to accommodate the growing need when 2014 finally rolls around. But with the flood of recently insured Americans making their way through hospital doors, hospitals and practices will need to quickly adapt to these increases in patient numbers.

The thousands of hospitals across the country will be faced with one of two options: accommodate the increase of patients or adapt to a waiting list policy that healthcare systems of similar operation are already using. To boost income and revenue while waiting for a qualified doctor to fill a spot, the locum tenens decision becomes more of an attractive choice. Traditionally, hospitals and practices that experience shorts in staffing have turned to the locum tenens — a doctor that takes healthcare assignments on an as-needed and temporary basis.

The year of 2010 saw approximately 181,834 days where a locum tenens was used in the United States. In 2011, that number grew to 183,252. Industry analysts say that 2014 will be the biggest year yet for locum tenens and related staffing agencies. With Obamacare facts and figures in mind, projected staffing spending this year for locum tenens was expected to grow nearly $147 million. While the numbers aren’t in yet, it looks like the estimate was not that far off.

As it stands now, the small shortage that exists in the United States is perfect for the many staffing agencies that supply hospitals with these temporary doctors, but in less than a year all that is about to change. To combat this impending need, there has been an increased push to make locum tenens assignments more attractive to the physician who is just out of med school.

Currently, about half of the United States’ practicing locum tenens is over the age of 55. To accommodate the needs of the waves of people who are soon to become insured, industry recruiters are looking to drive down this mean age by quite a bit.

To accomplish this, staffing agencies proudly point to findings from surveys that show the experience that physicians gain while on an assignment can have a host of beneficial outcomes later on in their careers. Such benefits range from exposure to different styles of healthcare to a more diverse patient list. One study even showed that out of the respondent pool, more than half of the doctors stated that had they experienced increased exposure to different hospital settings, they would have chosen a different location for their first job.

What exactly does the future hold for this portion of the healthcare field? The answer is a little uncertain, but with an additional 32 million people in the market for medical services, it doesn’t take a neurosurgeon to see that the healthcare industry is in for a big shake-up.

Adam Ghosh has over twenty years experience as a researcher in the medical field. In that time he has worked with allergists and vascular surgeons, and everyone in between. He is a contributor to Weatherby Healthcare.

HIN Disclaimer: The opinions, representations and statements made within this guest article are those of the author and not of the Healthcare Intelligence Network as a whole. Any copyright remains with the author and any liability with regard to infringement of intellectual property rights remain with them. The company accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.