ACA Pushes Hospitals Toward Staff Increases, Locum Tenens

Healthcare Facilities Gear Up to Add Staff

About 31 percent of the 230 hospital and health facility managers surveyed said their organization would add more permanent staff to deal with patient increases, 16.6 percent said they would use advanced practice professionals and 7.3 percent said they would turn to temporary staff for patient surges, according to Staff Care's "2014 Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends."

Ninety percent of responding hospitals and medical group administrators used temporary physicians at some time in 2013, a jump from 73.6 percent in 2012, with 39 percent currently looking for locum tenens, according to the report. Hospitals sought temporary primary care physicians the most, with more than 28 percent of survey respondents indicating they used one in the past year, while demand for nurse practitioners jumped from 4.8 percent in the 2013 report to 12.35 percent in the 2014 report.

"Based on patient demographics alone, demand for medical services is growing and the ACA is extra yeast that is going to make the bread rise," Sean Ebner, president of Staff Care, told Forbes. "Whether 30 million people obtain health insurance through the ACA, or 15 million, demand for doctors and other clinicians is going to spike, and many healthcare facilities are gearing up for it by adding staff."

"New methods and organizational structures will be needed to ensure the integrated and effective delivery of care across a proliferating number of service sites and practice styles," the report stated. "Hospitals, medical groups and other facilities will have to incorporate all types of clinicians in their staffing plans, including locum tenens professionals, to meet the growing access and quality needs of their patients."

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