Pricing Options for Hiring Locum Tenens Physicians
August 29, 2021
Competitive Rates For The Highest Expertise
Locum tenens physicians are knowledgeable, skilled, and concerned about the quality of patient care they deliver. The cost to partner with a locum tenens physician or advanced practitioner can vary, based on their qualifications, medical specialty, and experience. There is no fixed cost associated with utilizing locum tenens providers, however, the locum tenens salary rates are competitive and will vary. Here are a few things that impact locum tenens compensation:
- Demand for specialty- Hospitals must be willing to pay more for specialties that are hard to fill such as internal medicine, hospitalist and psychiatrists. While there are locum tenens jobs in more than 100 specialties available, the most competitive rates are found in hard-to-fill positions.
- Location and Facility type- Locum tenens positions can be found across the country. If you are a rural facility or are having trouble attracting candidates, be prepared to offer a higher rate than facilities in popular urban locations.
- Skills set and Patient Load- If your facility has a need for a locum tenens physician or advanced practice provider (APP) that is able to perform difficult procedures or requires specialized skills, then the cost of the locum tenens physician or APP may be higher. Patient loads may also affect the locum tenens salary, as slower-paced assignments tend to pay less than high-workload positions.
- Types of shifts needed- One of the benefits of locum tenens is flexible scheduling. Locums assignments can range from a standard shift to multiple months of work for a physician. When looking for a physician or APPthat suits your needs, keep in mind that those with the most flexibility often have higher locum tenens pay rates.
What Healthcare Hiring Managers Need To Know About Locum Tenens Physician Rates
Locum tenens doctors are considered independent contractors and are paid only for their time, which facilities can bill for just like core staff procedures and visits. While practitioners can work directly with hospitals or healthcare facilities, many work with a locum tenens staffing company to find locum tenens assignments. The locum tenens agencies pay for the providers to work assignments, and facilities pay the agencies to fill the positions and take care of things like:
- Hotel or temporary housing
- Transportation which may include rental car or public transportation pass
- Malpractice insurance
- Licensing and credentialing
The best locum tenens agencies are those who get to know their providers and understand the healthcare center's needs.
Overall, compared to permanent providers, locum tenens salary rates are not significantly higher than the cost of a permanent physician, especially if you take into account the revenue lost if the position is left open long-term. Additional costs for permanent providers include items such as signing bonuses, placement fees, licensing fees, employee benefits, malpractice insurance, and workers' compensation.
To offset the cost of locum tenens providers, your healthcare facility has two options:
- Adjust the workload of the locum tenens provider by assigning them duties and procedures that generate the most revenue.
- Make the goal to “break-even” as opposed to making a profit. Maintaining realistic cost expectations is essential when working with locum tenens providers.
Quality Of Performance You Can Expect From
A Locum Tenens Physician
Locum tenens physicians are held to the same standards as those working full time for a practice as a physician or advanced practitioner; one big difference is the flexibility that they have in terms of scheduling. Locum tenens providers go through the same credentialing process as any standard physician or advanced practitioner for that matter. While quality of care is technically determined by the individual physician's performance, multiple studies have shown that patient outcomes remain largely unaffected whether they are seen by providers with full time contracts or those working in a locum tenens position.
How do I know if a Locum Tenens provider is right for my Facility?
Hiring locum tenens physicians doesn’t have to come with a high price tag. By having a strategic plan, and working with locum tenens companies, you can utilize locum tenens providers in a way that will both benefit your facility and budget. In the end, each facility has its own unique circumstances.
Health Carousel is a total talent management company that delivers highly qualified healthcare professionals across a range of in-demand healthcare professions. By solving healthcare staffing problems, we are ensuring that everyone has access to a qualified healthcare professional when and where they are needed. Contact us today to learn how we can help you decide if locum tenens physicians are right for your healthcare organization.
About Health Carousel
Health Carousel is committed to working with world-class healthcare facilities across the country, providing rewarding assignments for Registered Nurses, Physicians, Allied Health Professionals, and Advanced Practice Professionals, and aggressively attracting the best internal talent for our brands across a wide range of industries and specialties, at all career levels.