Staff Care's 2017 Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends — the most recent in our series of groundbreaking surveys of locum tenens physicians and the facilities that employ them — has been making waves in the healthcare media since its release in January, 2017.
That's of little surprise, of course: Revealing as it does that 94 percent — or almost 19 out of every 20 — healthcare administrators report having used locum physicians and/or clinicians within the 12 months preceding the survey's release. The data is based on surveys conducted by email (and in some cases telephone) with healthcare executives and locum physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants nationwide. Also included is "an examination of the temporary staffing assignments Staff Care conducted in calendar year 2016."
The survey offers much information that's of immediate use to hospitals and healthcare administrators (as well as physicians and clinicians), the most notable being the near-saturation of locums staffing in today's healthcare industry. The figure of 94% "is up from 91% in 2014 ... and up from 74% in 2012," the authors note. "This is the highest number of healthcare facilities using locum tenens providers that Staff Care has recorded in any of its surveys."
> Get a High-Level Overview of Staff Care's Locums Survey Here.
In the News: Staff Care's 2017 Locum Tenens Staffing Survey
Offering perhaps the most in-depth analysis of the locum staffing data (short of our actual survey), an article published in Medscape in January, 2017 explores not just the increasing utilization of locum workers, but also the increasing tendency of physicians to choose temporary work. Leading with the survey's findings that "about 48,000 physicians work in locum tenens positions, up from 44,000 in 2014 and 26,000 in 2002," the article also offers reactions to the survey from locum physicians and healthcare policy experts.
Johns Hopkins' Jonathan Weiner, PhD told the publication that the prevalence of locum tenens work is "clearly a way to make the market work more perfectly." He also predicts that more older physicians will continue to work locums as they near retirement. "Most of these physicians are financially secure, and they could probably use a little extra money, but they're doing it for the experience," he said. Read the Medscape report here.
Healthline News includes a brief assessment of the survey as part of a larger analysis on doctor employment trends, and explores the prevalence of locum tenens work as a means to stave of physician burnout.
“For years, I worked with the underserved in a typical medical setting, putting in long hours and taking my turn on call,” Texas family physician Dr. Louise Henson told the publication. “As a locum, I can pretty much set my schedule and work 40-hour weeks. I do my job when I’m on the job without having to worry about if I’m going to be able to take off time for my family or other personal commitments.”
“The practice of medicine requires working more than 40 hours a week, being on call, and working on weekends,” Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Chief Healthcare Officer Dr. Janis M. Orlowski told Healthline. “We see the younger generation of physicians in the beginning of their career looking for a lifestyle change, as well as those at the end of their career who want to work some to stay in the field.” Read the Healthline article.
Healthcare Finance offers a more straightforward look at the survey's findings, focusing on Staff Care President Sean Ebner's assessment of the survey: "Virtually every hospital in the United States now uses locum tenens doctors," Mr. Ebner said. "They are emerging as a key part of the medical workforce in an era of physician shortages and evolving delivery models." Read that article here.
The 2017 survey is also at the center of a recent article by HealthLeaders Media on three major ways in which locum tenens staffing has changed in recent years, including a look at the reasons why demand for locum tenens doctors is growing. (They key is scarcity, Mr. Ebner told the publication: The current level of which is "high, and it continues to get more severe.") Read the HealthLeaders report here.
In turn, Becker's ASC Review uses that HealthLeaders assessment as a foundation for its own piece on the evolution of locum tenens staffing, pointing out that "modern locum tenens physicians are more specialty-based than their general provider predecessors." Read that article here.
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We invite you to leverage our locum tenens staffing expertise to help meet your organization's healthcare personnel needs: You can contact us via this quick form, or submit a staffing request here. We're standing by to ensure you have the physicians and clinicians you need to succeed, in 2017 and well into the future.
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