ICYMI: The Rise of Locum Tenens in the Healthcare Industry

locum tenens physicians Konstantin Sutyagin/Adobe Stock

In a recent post, Spend Matters’ Andrew Karpie addressed a rising trend in the healthcare industry: the use of contingent workforce, specifically the use of “locum tenens,” or temporary physicians. In his article, Locum Tenens and Healthcare Contingent Workforce Management: An Innovator’s Dilemma (Part 1), which published on Spend Matters last week, Andrew pointed to a Staff Care survey showing 42% of healthcare facility managers are currently looking for these temporary physicians, up from 32% in 2012.

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But while more healthcare facilities are using these temporary physicians, the healthcare industry as a whole is not keeping up with applying effective solutions to managing this rising contingent workforce, Andrew wrote. For instance, vendor management system (VMS) adoption in the healthcare industry is far behind other industries, and thus, “management of healthcare temporary suppliers has been lax.”

To gain more perspective on the use of locum tenens in the healthcare industry and how the industry can better manage the temporary physicians, Andrew spoke with a physician, Dr. Jennings Staley, who started his own locum tenens staffing firm called Elite Hospitalists. Dr. Staley addressed some of the transformations healthcare has undergone due to the rise of locum tenens assignments. In the article, Andrew wrote:

“Intermediation between demand for and supply of temporary physicians is undergoing a significant change, Staley said. It may seem like mere semantics to some, he added, but we believe that this work intermediation model is no longer locum tenens staffing. Rather, it is more a process of engaging freelancers such that what were previously “locum docs” are now really “freelance physicians.”

Find out the extensive insights on this topic Staley offered in the full article Locum Tenens and Healthcare Contingent Workforce Management: An Innovator’s Dilemma (Part 1). Stay tuned, too, for part two of the series, where Andrew will continue his discussion with Staley and address the use of VMS and managed service provider (MSP) solutions in the industry.

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