No matter what kind, or how you cook them, I will never be a fan of vegetables. However, this does not mean that I haven’t realized it would be in my best interest to eat them anyway. Shown to prevent illness, and considered to be the most health-promoting food group on the planet, I have forced myself to deal with the unpleasant tastes and textures of vegetables in order to do what’s best for my health in the long run. Would America be better off if we stopped eating vegetables? No. We don’t eat enough vegetables now.
The healthcare industry needs its vegetables. It needs Locum Tenens.
Our healthcare scene is changing rapidly. No matter your political preference or current health status, this is something we can all agree on. The healthcare process that your parents or grandparents grew up with is already completely different than what we experience now, and it will be completely different than what our kids and grandkids will experience in the generations to come. There are too many ‘X’ factors within our current healthcare model that keep us from accurately predicting exactly what our future system will look like. Modest changes to things like billing reimbursement, insurance coverage plans, and the funding of Medicare and Medicaid, could all make drastic waves in the healthcare pool further down the line, or sooner than we expect.
There are very few constants in healthcare, but one we can always count on is the growing shortage of available physicians; a problem that will only get worse once roughly 40 million new patients are added to the equation under the government’s new Affordable Care Act. Supply simply isn’t able to keep up with demand, and considering that it takes 7+ years to develop a well-trained physician, it might seem like finding an immediate solution is unrealistic. Right now, Locum Tenens coverage is the only chance we have to reduce this shortage. Providing the ability to immediately place quality physicians into areas where coverage is scarce makes Locum Tenens a very viable option for all medical-based facilities. Hospitals, clinics, community health centers, and correctional facilities alike can all benefit from using a Locum Tenens provider to alleviate their gaps in coverage, and allow them time to plan and implement a quality solution for the long term.
The go-to reason – or excuse – for avoiding locum tenens coverage is the premium cost of bringing in a short-term provider. Facilities and clinics will place Locum Tenens on the back burner while they continue to search for a more cost-effective solution. The reality, however, is the opportunity costs that are lost by not providing immediate coverage far outweigh the costs to bring in a temporary provider, so the damage that you’re trying to avoid is actually happening in real time. The longer you wait to implement a plan, the more damage your clinics and patients suffer. Patients will go elsewhere, and that’s revenue that cannot be recovered. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that it would benefit all parties to bring in a Locum Tenens provider? Patients are treated, revenue streams stay constant, and providers are able to earn additional income to help alleviate the burdens of medical school loans. That’s a win-win-win situation, if you ask me.
Let’s look at this another way: if the pipes in your bathroom were to burst, pushing a constant stream of water onto the floor and causing damage by the minute, would you sit by idly and wait for the plumber to arrive? What if he can’t make it for a few days? Do you simply allow water to run rampant all over your house until then? Of course not. Instead, you will look for a quick fix until a professional can arrive to provide a permanent solution. Why should healthcare be looked at any differently? That water all over your floor is lost revenue from patients going to another clinic to be treated, and it’s difficult to gain that patient back once they’ve left. Locum Tenens places a band-aid over that break in the pipes, allowing you time to find the most qualified provider for your clinics while still allowing the facilities to continue operating effectively.
So instead of watching the healthcare industry panic over the looming concerns ahead, let’s work together to provide immediate relief and allow more time to look for a long term solution.
Eat your vegetables, America.
Written by Landon Webb, Director of Account Management for Consilium Staffing.