News & Views

Perspectives on the locum tenens industry

In the Interim: Effect of Physician Shortages on Recruiting, Clinical Data Sharing, Pandemic Stress Relief, the Future of Virtual Care & More

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

Locum Tenens Physician News: October 2021

1. Staffing Shortages Ramp Up Recruitment Pressure on Hospitals

The spread of the Delta variant is prolonging healthcare labor shortages, expanding hospital profitability strain, and escalating burnout rates. Insufficient staffing and declining profit margins are expected to continue through 2030.

These labor shortages are spreading from clinical staff to nonclinical team members, inhibiting recruitment and retention in addition to driving up wages. In fact, hospitals and health systems in the United States are paying $24 billion more per year than they did pre-pandemic.

(Healthcare Finance, October 7, 2021)

2. Proposed Residency Fixes: Are They Realistic or Just Wishful Thinking?

The Coalition for Physician Accountability’s Undergraduate Medical Education to Graduate Medical Education Review Committee (UGRC) proposes over 30 changes to the current transition from medical school to residency. This comprehensive report details suggested reforms for a stronger foundation and revamped structures for residents. But are these changes sustainable?

(Medscape, October 7, 2021)

3. Sharing Medical Information Between EHRs: 4 Different Approaches Clinical Data

Imagine clinical data that is secure but still easy to access and analyze. Well, that’s the Health and Human Services (HHS) goal. Through the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) initiative, HHS envisions standard software solutions that allow different EHRs to query and import data from any “certified” EHR. The FHIR has yet to achieve widespread use. This important topic delves into the pros and cons of four clinical data sharing approaches across EHRs.

(KevinMD, October 13, 2021)

4. Telehealth Has Been Key for Primary Care, But Clinicians Are Still Feeling Hopeless

The pandemic has heightened the existing primary care crisis. Telehealth has salvaged patient access to care, two-thirds of primary care physicians used telemedicine for at least 20% of their total office visits. When pre-pandemic regulations return, what kind of long-term impact does telemedicine have on core specialties, like primary care?

(Healthcare IT News, October 18, 2021)

5. Hospital Execs Eye Expanded Virtual Care and Streamlined Platforms in Years Ahead

For the last year, hospitals and health systems have limped through a state of emergency, combatting staff shortages and overflowing ICUs. Although telehealth provided a vital bridge to care, many organizations had to implement these solutions rapidly, not strategically.

As we look toward the future of virtual care in a post-pandemic world, Amwell and HIMSS Analytics interviewed over 100 senior executives around the country regarding their planned investments in telehealth.

(Becker’s Hospital Review, October 22, 2021)

6. With Pandemic’s End Not in Sight, 8 Ways to Deal With the Stress

A staggering, but unsurprising, 49% of health workers reported burnout amid COVID-19. Healthcare professionals and front-line staff have experienced immeasurable physical and emotional stress. This article utilizes data from the AMA Coping with COVID-19 for Caregivers Survey to offer eight coping mechanisms.

(American Medical Association, October 26, 2021)

7. Medical Practices Say Regulations Adding More Red Tape That Hamstrings Patient Care

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) polled 420 different medical practices on regulatory, reimbursement, and other trending industry issues. Practices overwhelmingly reported an increase in regulatory burden; COVID-19 has enhanced the existing challenge.

With clinical and administrative gaps in staffing, medical groups simply do not have time to navigate the mountains of regulatory requirements and reporting. These practices suggest that rolling back requirements such as prior authorization would drastically improve the delivery of care.

(Fierce Healthcare, October 26, 2021)

8. Rapid COVID-19 Tests Increasingly Scarce, Pricey as Demand From Employers Jumps

The surging demand from US employers is creating a supply chain squeeze on rapid COVID-19 tests. Bidding wars among health systems, state governments, and employers are driving up prices. Although the tests cost as little as $2 each to make, states are paying far more, including South Carolina, where some rapid tests cost as much as $130 each.

(Medscape, October 6, 2021)

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.