How Are Locum Tenens Providers And What Do They Do?

Locum Tenens News >> How Are Locum Tenens Providers And What Do They Do?

The meaning of locum tenens is translated from Latin as one keeping a position. In contemporary healthcare, a locum tenens provider is a specialist or specialized practice provider who stands in for another clinician who cannot work. Today, locum tenens is a thriving practice option that provides endless work openings to clinicians of all specialties, enabling them to advance their careers and providing services to patients.

Why do providers choose locum tenens?

Nurse practitioners, doctors, and physician assistants who work as locum tenens enjoy various opportunities not always seen in permanent positions. Here are some of the most often mentioned advantages among providers operating as locums:

Scheduling flexibility: Locum tenens doctors set their schedules, deciding who, where, and how much they choose to practice. 

Earnings increase: Competitive wage scales, no overhead, and free malpractice insurance make locum tenens work financially appealing. Also, providers who work full-time often offset their income with short-term contracts on weekends or during holidays.

Adventure and exploration: Since locum tenens contracts are available in any specialty and territory, providers use locum tenens to travel the country or enjoy seasonal leisure opportunities. Skiers, for example, can spend the winter near the mountains as much as they want, and surfers can spend as much time as they want near the beach.

Improved abilities: Locum tenens providers also gain experience in various work environments, which strengthens their CV and broadens their clinical skills. Treating various patient groups keeps them current, and collaborating with various peers provides a new viewpoint.

Which agency is best suited for locum tenens?

There is never a wrong time to use locum tenens services. Accepting temporary contracts will support healthcare practitioners at all points of their careers.

New doctors have been hired. Locum tenens assignments are suitable for doctors who have just completed their residency. Temporary placements allow them to try out new work environments and places before committing to a long-term commitment.

You have established service providers. Suppose you are moving from a former job atmosphere or trying to pursue new goals. In that case, the versatility provided by locum tenens practice allows you to make money without having to deal with logistical hassles, freeing up time and resources for other pursuits.

Highly trained elderly doctors who wish to slow down but are not ready to retire entirely often use locum tenens to continue doing the job they enjoy at their rate. In addition, travel choices can help scout prospective retirement destinations.

The term locum tenens comes from the Latin for "position holder." When a nurse is unavailable, a locum tenens practitioner fills in as a replacement.

In the 70s, the University of Utah received a federal grant to provide physician staffing services to remote health centers in medically underserved parts of the western United States.

If a hospital or health clinic did not have a specialist physician or contractor on board, they could hire a locum tenen for the operation or service for their patients in need. Since the service was so effective, more hospital administrators and doctors started requesting locum tenens medical staffing assistance.

Thousands of doctors, CRNAs, PAs, and NPs also work with locum tenens staffing agencies, which offer physician staffing services for hospitals, outpatient care centers, government and military clinics, group practices, community health centers, and correctional facilities. This market expands year by year as more doctors, and specialized practice providers opt to practice medicine as locum tenens.

Locum Tenens and Telemedicine

Disruptive progress has forever altered the world of health care. The effects of technology on health care are often considered advancements in fields such as automation or immunotherapy, but modern technology has also influenced how health care is delivered.

Today's health care advances offer much for fewer — more efficiency, improved results, greater ease, availability, and simplicity; all for less expense, difficulty, and time taken by the patient and provider, in a manner that extends what is feasible.

Access and value are improved by using telehealth, telemedicine, and locum tenens physician staffing to administer health care facilities, all at the same or lower expense to those covered.

Why do physicians choose locum tenens to work?

The economy encompasses more than just Uber drivers and freelance creatives; a Forbes report from 2019 refers to freelancing in the health care sector as doctors on demand. According to the survey, 94% of health care administrators have collaborated with freelance, or locum tenens, doctors in the previous year.

Based on a projected physician population of one million, 5–10% of U.S. physicians currently serve as freelancers.

Because of the versatility, it can offer, more doctors have chosen locum tenens practice over a conventional timetable in recent years. 36% of U.S. employees have a big job in any capacity, and 64% of those gig workers are doing their favorite form of work.

Any physicians who serve as locum tenens can do so in addition to their daily job to supplement their income. Alternatively, they may build a career by moving from one locum tenens place to the next. The ability to fly, work in underserved places, escape burnout at one job, or gain experience to move to a new career or specialization are all reasons for preferring locum tenens work. The reasons for choosing this exciting job are as diverse as the physicians who chose it.

Why do health care clients use locum tenens physician staffing?

So why does a customer or provider of health care select a locum tenens practitioner over a conventional hire? Flexibility is a value-add for hospitals and health care administrators, much as it is for doctors who select these versatile locum tenens appointments.

Locum tenens doctors may step in when hospitals are short-staffed or when patient demand is high. Since these doctors primarily serve on short-term contracts, human resource teams may benefit from budget stability when they save on health insurance coverage, pensions, and other planned permanent-hire benefits.

While rural hospitals and health care groups may struggle to recruit full-time doctors, locum tenens physicians may be more likely to operate in rural areas with underserved communities for short-term contract lengths. The opportunity to represent and have services to remote and historically underserved areas significantly benefits today's versatile employment technologies such as locum tenens roles or telehealth and telemedicine.

Credentialing Locum Tenens

Since hospitals and health clinics have many services and moving pieces, staying compliant is critical for patient safety. Simultaneously, cumbersome and inefficient credentialing procedures make it more difficult for locum tenens to get aboard to start seeing patients.

In the past, the lengthy and time-consuming procedure hampered locum tenens work; however, modern technology assists in the facilitation of the locum tenens credentialing process. If the initiating hospital has already completed this credentialing work, it is no longer appropriate to go through the primary source authentication phase with a locum tenens or telehealth provider.

Credentialing by proxy and outsourcing credentialing to eligible organizations have sped up the process while also ensuring accuracy and effectiveness. Organizations will now credential a locum tenens in a matter of days rather than weeks or months, allowing them to treat patients more efficiently.

Verisys, a certification testing company, collaborates with health care providers to credential locum tenens doctors and other telehealth practitioners reliably and rapidly. Compliance is critical in locum tenens because hospitals are vulnerable to bribery, violence, and poor actors in the health care sector. Risk reduction is an essential component of a hospital's goal of delivering high-quality, low-cost services to patients and retaining a stellar image in the community.


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