“Hospital administrators said that using locum tenens physicians helped boost patient access to care and address staffing shortages by filling vacant positions.

Hospitals are increasingly utilizing locum tenens physicians, advanced practice providers (APPs), and telehealth services to address staffing shortages, according to a report from LocumTenens.com. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated hospital staffing shortages as many clinicians faced burnout and mental health struggles, pushing them to leave the field. In addition, hospitals have struggled to recruit new providers to meet the growing care demands of an aging population.

The report found that hospitals’ top concern was attracting talent (25.8 percent), followed by avoiding burnout (20.6 percent) and retaining talent (19.4 percent). Respondents also said that controlling costs (15.2 percent), improving the patient experience (9.4 percent), and scheduling providers (9.05 percent) were areas of concern. Around 90 percent of respondents said they use locum tenens physicians. Nearly 60 percent of those who do not outsource physicians reported that they will consider using locum tenens staff in the future. Over half of respondents (52.3 percent) have been using locum tenens providers or outsourcing physicians for more than five years. Nearly a quarter have been outsourcing for three to five years, while 23 percent have recently turned to locum tenens staff within the past two years.

In the past, locum tenens coverage has been accompanied by negative perceptions regarding cost and patient experience. However, healthcare leaders said that using locum tenens providers helped increase patient access to care (68.8 percent), their ability to fill previously unfilled positions (60.9 percent), and staffing flexibility (55.6 percent).”


To access the full article: Locum Tenens Physicians Help Hospitals Address Staffing Shortages (revcycleintelligence.com)

By: Victoria Bailey