Every year, locum tenens physicians and advanced practitioners care for an estimated 7.5 million Americans. As the demand for healthcare services continues to surge, locum tenens physicians and advanced practitioners have become an increasingly valuable asset to hospitals in ensuring consistent coverage and continuity of care.

 

The Association of American Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians by 2034, and many hospitals nationwide are already beginning to feel the effects. Currently, there are 2.5x healthcare job openings to healthcare hires. This disparity is expected to persist and even intensify, as approximately 24,200 jobs for physicians and surgeons are projected to open annually over the next decade. 

 

Healthcare Providers Facing the Highest Employment Projections for Hospitals Over the Next Decade:

  1. Physicians: 205,000
  2. Nurse Practitioners: 86,200
  3. Physician Assistants: 45,300
  4. Nurse Anesthetists: 18,700

Physician Specialties Facing the Highest Employment Projections for Hospitals Over the Next Decade:

  1. General Internal Medicine: 21,600
  2. Family Medicine: 18,700
  3. Surgeons: 12,000
  4. Emergency Medicine: 10,800
Benefits of Locum Tenens for Hospitals

This year, 88% of hospitals reported using locum tenens physicians and advanced practitioners to ensure continuity of care during gaps in coverage. By leveraging locum tenens physicians and advanced practitioners, hospitals can unlock a variety of advantages, including:

 

Regain Unclaimed Hospital Revenue

Incorporating a flexible workforce into your hospital's staffing strategy can quickly help regain unclaimed revenue. By leveraging locum tenens, hospitals can amplify their capacity for revenue-generating procedures, especially during peak patient volumes. The potential revenue physicians drive to a hospital can vary across specialties. Locum tenens surgeons, cardiologists, or gastroenterologists can offer an immediate increase in the volume of high-value procedures your hospital can perform. Furthermore, successfully integrating locum tenens physicians and advanced practitioners ensures your team is equipped with a broad range of medical specialties, guaranteeing all service lines are optimized with the right mix of talent. 

 

Cost-Effective Staffing Solutions

Locum tenens physicians and advanced practitioners require no long-term commitment. Hospitals can hire locum tenens on a short-term basis to fill staffing gaps caused by vacations, medical leave, or unexpected increases in patient volumes - such as during flu season. Locum tenens eliminate the need for long-term employment contracts and other associated costs that a permanent provider would require, like benefits, retirement plans, and paid time off. Additionally, locum tenens physicians can fill specialized roles while reducing overtime expenses that may occur when permanent physicians are stretched thin. 

 

Higher Retention & Reduction of Burnout Among Permanent Staff

By incorporating locum tenens, hospitals can enhance the work-life balance of their permanent providers, offering time off to recharge and prevent burnout. This approach not only benefits the well-being of their staff but also plays a significant role in increasing staff retention rates and reducing workloads.

Over half of physicians, a staggering 53%, have reported experiencing burnout, with the majority, 61%, citing excessive bureaucratic tasks as the primary cause. Additionally, 37% identified extended working hours as a significant contributor to their burnout. Locum tenens play a critical role in reducing burnout and ensuring quality patient care.

 

Bridge the Staffing Gap

In today's fast-paced healthcare environment, unexpected situations can arise anytime - a sudden surge in patient volumes, unexpected provider turnover, or moving from an outsourced to an employed provider program. When you are feeling stuck, the Medicus Transition Program can help bridge the gap to provide stability and reliability.

 

The Medicus Transition Program works best for specialties with multiple FTE gaps in their schedule and a need for long-term coverage until permanent candidates are hired. Our Transition Program allows healthcare leaders to address staffing gaps quickly. In addition, it promotes shared accountability in sourcing, scheduling, and cost control. Our program has been successfully implemented across numerous health systems nationwide, with our clients overwhelmingly favoring this approach over the traditional locum tenens model.

 

As healthcare continues to experience dynamic changes and increasing patient demands, locum tenens emerge as an innovative solution for hospitals. Their ability to ensure continuity of care, reclaim revenue, and reduce burnout among permanent staff makes locum tenens indispensable in the healthcare ecosystem.

 

If you need quality locum tenens staffing support, please fill out the short form below.