Hospitals' Use of Locum Tenens Physicians Up in 2013

Top Reason Locum Tenens Use Up

Nearly all (90 percent) of hospitals and other healthcare facilities reported using locum tenens physicians at some point in 2013, up from 73.6 percent in 2012, according to a survey conducted by Staff Care, a national temporary healthcare staffing firm.

Filling in for a physician who left is the most typical reason provider organizations use locum tenens physicians, the survey found, as 55 percent of respondents indicated it in the survey.

The following are the other top reasons organizations use locum tenens physicians. Respondents could check any answer that applied.

• Fill in until a permanent physician is found: 54.9 percent

• Vacation/continuing medical education: 46.4 percent

• Fill in during peak usage times: 11.1 percent

• Maintain flexibility to upsize or downsize staff as needed: 9.8 percent

Organizations also used locum tenens for longer periods of time in 2013 than in 2012: 31 percent of respondents reported using one to 10 days of locum tenens coverage in a typical month last year, while just 26.6 percent did so in 2012.

Survey data is based on responses from 230 hospitals, medical groups, community health centers and government health facilities. Staff Care is a company of AMN Healthcare.

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