Maximize the Profit & Quality of Locum Services

"We don't use locums, they're too expensive!"

"We no longer use locums, we had bad experiences with them."

If there is anything I am 100% sure of in this world, it's that these two phrases are running across phone lines somewhere. I'll never argue whether this problem exists, my point is it doesn't have to. While you are more than justified in pointing your finger at the new locum agency that provides the physician, the mirror likely holds just as much blame.

Here's the issue, and the simple fix. (You're welcome).

Stop treating locum services differently.

Most healthcare organizations are sending an email to multiple agencies, with basic job details, and asking for candidates. Now re-read that, doesn't seem like a good start. However, many of these agencies send qualified candidates. The caveat to this is that the demand in the market continues to drive rates so high that it is difficult for even the best physicians in the nation to generate profits off their work. 

So let's dig deeper, why is this?

Demand, an it's not going anywhere. Physicians are smart (newsflash, I know), and they sit back and watch agencies engage in a bidding war for their service. Added on top of these drastically inflated rates are the minimum markups that each company requires of their salespeople (You didn't really believe the issue was malpractice coverage costs, did you?).

*WARNING* - It gets worse.

You've now paid the premium rate, you've shown your cards in order to secure a quality provider. Now that's you're rate and agencies will lock you in there and attempt to maximize profits by paying the physician less.

So back to my point, stop treating locum services differently. High ticket prices should not be negotiated in times of urgency. It's time to face the fact the physician shortage is real and locum services are going to be a line item on your P&L. Follow these steps and place the burden of physician bidding wars onto the agency.

1. Communicate with agencies to learn about wants, needs, processes, obstacles, etc.

2. Discuss a YEARLY BUDGET for locums coverage based on annual usage. This should be a flat fee for an amount of coverage. 

3. Agree upon additional terms for overages on days utilized, orders unfulfilled, and other areas of importance.

4. Discuss key performance indicators for EVERYONE involved in the agreement to ensure quality and accountability. i.e. agency, physicians, and healthcare organization.

5. The agreed upon budget and performance indicators ensure a winning formula to produce ROI.

6. Sign an exclusive agreement and place the burden of subcontracting to the agency, if needed.

This is the winning formula in order to get the service you need and your patients deserve. When you're ready to form a mutually beneficial partnership, Med X is ready to work: Book a meeting to learn more.