News & Views

Perspectives on the locum tenens industry

In the Interim: The Latest News on Physician Burnout, Staffing Shortages, Telehealth, Physician Retirement & More

“In the Interim” is a monthly roundup of medical news of interest to the locum tenens community. Check out the articles we found most interesting in our September edition.

Locum Tenens Physician News: September 2021

1. As Doctor Burnout Climbs, Can We Save Primary Care?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, clinical burnout rises to its own epidemic. Ronald Dixon, an internal medicine physician, shares insight regarding fellow doctors’ career outlook. With 40 percent worried about their field disappearing, it’s crucial to develop a formula to reduce burnout and save primary care. Thankfully, Dr. Dixon has a solution: integrated technology. 

(KevinMD, September 21, 2021)

2. 8 Key Statistics on the Impending Physician Shortage

COVID-19 accelerated the ever-present physician shortage. As more physicians consider early retirement, Becker’s provides eight key statistics regarding the increased shortage. 

(Becker’s ASC Review, September 13, 2021)

3. VA Offers $1B Telehealth Contract Opportunity

The Veterans Healthcare Administration consistently identifies digital health opportunities to improve the quality of health for veterans. The recently proposed $1 billion contract would increase remote monitoring and telehealth services, enhancing the VHA’s overall quality of healthcare. 

(Healthcare IT News, September 17, 2021)

4. Docs Press CMS for Permanent Telehealth Flexibility, Relief from Pay Cuts in Fee Schedule Comments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed in the 2022 Physician Fee Schedule to extend telehealth flexibilities through 2023 instead of through the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

For patients in rural areas, telehealth could be the only way to receive medical care. Doctors encourage decision-makers to seek a more permanent solution, especially for mental health telehealth services.

(Fierce Healthcare, September 14, 2021)

5. Hospitals Fear Staffing Shortages as Vaccine Deadlines Loom

As many statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandates take effect, hospitals prepare for increased staff shortages. Dr. Jeff Smith, CEO and Executive Vice President of Hospital Operations at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, comments on his own decision to fill their schedule with temporary clinicians in anticipation of employee departures and suspensions.

(Medscape, September 28, 2021)

6. Ransomware Attacks Impact Patient Care, Including Increased Mortality Rates, Report Finds

In 2020, remote work became necessary, and many hospitals were required to cobble together a technology infrastructure to support telehealth. Unfortunately, the systems to support its often-speedy implementation created new risk factors for healthcare organizations. In fact, nearly 1 in 4 healthcare providers reported an increase in mortality rate due to ransomware.

This article contains research from the Ponemon Institute, sounding an important wake-up call for the healthcare industry. Patient outcomes rely on prioritizing cybersecurity and proactively acting against data breaches.

(Fierce Healthcare, September 24, 2021)

7. Know the Options to Secure Your Physician Retirement Income

Long-term retirement income strategies are integral for calculating how long your savings will last and the opportunities that your assets will provide. This article features key considerations for physicians planning out their retirement goals. Be sure to give it a read before you transition to the next phase of your career.

(American Medical Association, September 23, 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.