Fiscal pressures — from penalties for preventable hospital readmissions to economic motivations like economies of scale — have CFOs at hospitals looking for every possible means of containing expenses, with medical staffing being chief among them. “Facilities are consolidating and integrating and finding ways to take cost out of the systems,” says Patrick Thompson, executive vice president of administration and CIO of home healthcare provider Amedisys in Baton Rouge, La. (Full Article Here.)
Jeff Kammerdeiner, President of Exertus Medical Staffing sees the same but says that medical staffing business tends to be cyclical. “Every 3 months or so, companies go on a hiring spree so they don’t need staffing agencies. But then, eventually, need staffing agencies again. So medical staffing companies, like Exertus, help to try and level out the cyclical nature of the business.”
The article by Mr. Rossheim goes on to discuss the direct high costs that are sometimes associated with contracted medical staffing contracts. On the other hand, Mr. Kammerdeiner points out the uncalculated costs that most administrators do not factor when determining whether or not to utilize a medical staffing company.
For example, the costs associated with hiring a full-time employee into your organization that is not a good fit for either the employee or the employer can drive your costs significantly higher. The challenge is that neither really knows how the relationship will go until the employee begins work. If one or the other hasn’t had their expectations met, there may be a decision by either party to separate employment after many hours dedicated to reviewing resumes, interviewing, company orientation, and training within the specific job. In a September Inc. Magazine article, the true costs associated with hiring the wrong professional employee, in some companies can be calculated to over $800,000 including legal fees and HR costs.
Hiring the right person, or choosing the right company for which to work is becoming increasingly important with health care professionals. This will be especially true in the Western Pennsylvania area because of the size of the healthcare market in the region and the increasing aging population. For example, there is a growing need for healthcare therapists over the next 5 years simply due to the number of patients being released to home from facilities with a higher acuity level.
Mr. Kammerdeiner sees, becoming a partner with the healthcare agencies, as the trend in supplemental medical staffing. “Our role, as a medical staffing company, helps to reduce those missed expectation events. We permit our staff to be hired by the contractor which in essence gives both parties a chance to co-habitate and have a chance to kick the tires, so to speak. This ultimately reduces the those human resources costs associated with hiring the wrong employee or the healthcare professional taking a job that really isn’t what they had thought it might be.”
As healthcare administrators continue to determine the true impact of healthcare reform, flexibility seems to be the key since not many agencies have determined the “secret sauce” to that fine balance between financial success and excellent patient care. But certainly, having an outside agency, like a supplement staffing agency helps to bear the cost of finding the right employee and allowing healthcare professionals to find the right employer for them, seems to be a reasonable solution in controlling hiring costs.