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Perspectives on the locum tenens industry

In the Interim for May 2022: Physician Compensation & Revenue Improved in Q1 + 6 More Top Stories

“In the Interim” is a snapshot of the latest and most relevant news for locum tenens providers. No repeats, less scrolling, more knowledge. Check out the articles we found most interesting for May's roundup.

1. Q1 2022 Saw Increased Physician Productivity, Compensation & Revenue

Kaufman Hall’s National Hospital Flash Report and Physician Flash Report report show improved outpatient volume and revenue, suggesting that some economic impacts of the pandemic are improving. Physicians still face increased inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain issues; however, productivity, compensation, and revenue are setting pre-pandemic records as patient volume increases.

(Medical Economics, May 05, 2022)

2. California Lawmakers Raise Awards for Malpractice Lawsuits

Historically, California is one of 33 states with a cap on the amount of money people can win from medical malpractice lawsuits. Since 1975, the cap on pain and suffering was $250,000; for several decades, trial lawyers and consumer advocates have fought to increase that limitation. Now, California Legislature has increased that cap to $350,000 for injured parties and $500,000 for relatives of patients who have passed away. Although this helps patients, it could lead to significant increases in malpractice premiums.

(US News, May 12, 2022)

3. The Pandemic is Entering a New Phase, But It’s Not Over, Expert Says

In mid-July, the public health emergency will end. Along with it, provider flexibility for telehealth and at-home acute care cease. Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to President Biden, declared the United States is out of the pandemic phase, but epidemiologists argue we’re simply beginning the next phase. Although less deadly than Delta, the Omicron variants are still highly infectious, and over 3 billion people worldwide remain unvaccinated. Providers and healthcare organizations must regroup to handle future surges without the protection of government flexibilities.

(Healthcare Finance, May 11, 2022)

4. Despite Concerns, Most Americans are Willing to Share Health Data in Some Cases, Survey Finds

We don’t usually discuss how health data is used. Patients often assume that this includes identifying information, like their address, rather than health information related to diseases and disorders. In December 2021, Health Care Data Sharing Survey found that most Americans were reluctant to share their health data. However, 71% are open to sharing anonymous health data to improve other patients’ healthcare, to advance research, or to enhance equity.

(Fierce Healthcare, May 12, 2022)

5. Sanford Health’s Chief Digital Officer Wants Urban Care for Rural America

Amid medical provider shortages and an overtaxed health system, Sioux Falls, SD-based Sanford Health’s inaugural chief digital officer, Jared Antczak sees a fantastic future for healthcare. Antczak comments on the poor user experience related to digital healthcare, comparing it to other industries like airlines. Rather than seeing this as a shortcoming or challenge, he believes in an opportunity to bring urban healthcare to rural America—with the power of technology.

(Becker’s Hospital Review, May 20, 2022)

6. The Great Digital Health Reset – and How to Plan for What’s Next

During 2020, telehealth visits surged, and this explosion propelled massive increased investments in digital health startups. In 2021, venture capital funding for digital health startups reaching a new high of over $30 billion. However, those numbers are starting to crash back down. Now that digital health sales and app downloads are declining (mental health-related apps alone have decreased by about a third), industry leaders are monitoring the market to see what the future holds for digital healthcare.

(Healthcare IT News, May 20, 2022)

7. Health Insurance Industry Continues to Falter on Prior Authorization Reform

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently released new physician survey results regarding prior authorization reform. AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, MD, states “authorization controls that do not prioritize patient access to timely, optimal care can lead to serious adverse consequences for waiting patients, such as a hospitalization, disability, or death. Comprehensive reform is needed now to stem the heavy toll that continues to mount without effective action.”

Most notably, 88% of surveyed physicians agree that prior authorization interferes with continuity of care. The AMA and other physician organizations are actively fighting to reform prior authorization and imploring Congress to help eliminate insurer-imposed barriers to drugs and medical services.

(American Medical Association, May 24, 2022)


That’s it for this month’s edition of In the Interim. Stay tuned for next month’s roundup of newsworthy articles for locum tenens providers. To stay in the loop on future news, follow us on LinkedIn and sign up for our monthly email newsletter for monthly news and job search tips.