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Loyalty Programs: Are They The Key to Patient Retention?

Many healthcare organizations are now offering rewards and loyalty programs in an effort to retain patients. Though these programs are still in development, they have shown promise.

Approximately 10 percent of patient appointments result in no-shows. This can be a frustrating experience for healthcare organizations that depend upon health insurance reimbursements and private payers. As a result, facilities have created cancellation policies, which allow providers to charge patients who fail to show up for appointments without reasonable notice. While this has certainly deterred a large number of patients from skipping their scheduled visits, healthcare facilities are looking to do more to retain patients.

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Learning to Work with MACRA

President Obama signed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, or MACRA, into law in April, 2015. MACRA replaces the SGR (sustained growth rate) formula that regulates payments to healthcare professionals that treat patients covered by Medicare. The law reforms the reimbursement process for healthcare providers and addresses several other issues as well.

The MACRA reimbursement framework includes technical assistance for providers, data sharing, and a federal advisory group, among other measures. The system ensures quality care by basing payments on the value and effectiveness of care. Healthcare providers that meet the highest standards are rewarded for their efforts on behalf of patients.

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NALTO Multiview Briefing #1 — Interstate Licensure Compact

NALTO Multiview Briefing #1 — Interstate Licensure Compact
Key Facts About the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

In early October, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators endorsed the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. In a letter to the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), the lawmakers stated, “As strong supporters of the state-based system of physician licensure, we believe the Compact represents a significant step forward in the licensure of physicians and we applaud the work of the FSMB and its member boards in this area.”

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NALTO February Multiview Briefing: National Relations Labor Board & 1099s

National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations, February Multiview Briefing: National Relations Labor Board & 1099s

NRLB & Locum Tenens
How a National Labor Relations Board ruling could impact locum tenens staffing companies. What “Independent Contractor” Means to the IRS A closer look at what defines an independent contractor for tax reporting purposes, and locum tenens companies.

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NALTO Multiview Briefing #4: DEA Rulings

Medications can be a critical component to treatment plans. They alleviate pain, minimize symptoms, and combat infection. However, the government has deemed it necessary to regulate these controlled substances in order to prevent illegal distribution or abusive practices. Because medications vary from mostly benign over-the-counter products to powerful narcotics, they have been divided into five Schedule categories. Schedule V drugs contain limited amounts of narcotics or stimulants—cough syrup is an example of a Schedule V controlled substance. The most powerful medications administered in medical settings, such as oxycodone and fentanyl, fall within a Schedule II classification. Schedule I substances typically have no medical applications under federal law.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, determines who is qualified to dispense regulated medications. And according to the DEA, as it
applies to practitioners, the term “dispense” means to “deliver a controlled substance to an ultimate user or research subject by, or pursuant to the lawful order of, a practitioner, including the prescribing and administering of a controlled substance.” Physicians, and where legally applicable, mid-level providers must apply for and receive registration from the DEA to legally dispense/prescribe scheduled medications to their patients.

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ROI Article - Locum Tenens: A Smart Investment

Not so many years ago, locum tenens physicians were a rare breed and demand for their services on behalf of hospitals and clinics was minimal. Times have changed. All around the country, in rural and metropolitan areas alike, physicians shortages and long recruitment cycles have become the norm. Do any of the following scenarios sound familiar to you?

For the third time in less than a month, you’ve had to close one of your hospital’s operating suites due to lack of anesthesiology coverage. The group that covers your facility has been trying to recruit new associates for some time now, but the shortage in the specialty is making it tough. They don’t want to settle for anyone less than top-notch, and you don’t want them to. But hearing about your “loyal” surgeons taking cases to the hospital across town and seeing the weariness in the eyes of the anesthesiologists you do have on staff is making you nervous. How much longer can this go on without seriously impacting revenue, not to mention your institution’s reputation as a full-service facility?

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The Value of Locum Tenens Physicians in Healthcare Facilities

More and more healthcare facilities are turning to locum tenens staffing solutions for good reasons: with physicians, PA’s, nurse practitioners and specialists available when you need them, the stress of hiring has been lessened. Beyond just the convenience, however, most healthcare facilities want to understand the value of hiring locum tenens.

If you are considering hiring locums, rest assured you are making a wise decision. Here is the information to consider.

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Why Healthcare Organizations are Turning to Locum Tenens

The healthcare landscape has been evolving. Facing an aging population, increased access to healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, and a growing physician shortage (an estimated 14,900 to 35,600 just in primary care by 2025), healthcare organizations have been looking for ways to increase efficiency and improve the bottom line, while servicing communities of every size. A growing trend: turning to locum tenens staffing solutions to both enhance care and boost profitability.

The Real Cost of Hiring

What is the real cost of hiring in today’s healthcare industry? By some estimates, it can be as high as $40,000 per physician position filled. When you factor in the time spent reviewing and interviewing applicants, plus the hidden costs such as placements that do not work out and high turnover, it’s no wonder that staffing is sometimes considered one of the most stressful aspects of running an effective organization.

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How Locum Tenens Help Reduce Hospital Readmission Rates

Hospitals can face harsh penalties for high readmission rates. To avoid the repercussions from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, utilize Locum Tenens clinicians.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) can penalize hospitals when patients are re-admitted for care. These penalties can cost hospitals up to 3 percent of payments from CMS. While some readmissions are unavoidable, many can be prevented with the right support, including Locum Tenens clinicians.

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Best Practices in Credentialing – NALTO® Guidelines

This past Spring, at the Annual NALTO® Conference in San Antonio, TX, we held a New Member Orientation Session and Reception. This was successfully attended by over 35 attendees. One of the key topics of interest was the NALTO® Credentialing Guidelines within our Standards of Best Practices. Frank Phillips, President of MDA, Inc., and current Past President of NALTO® gave the presentation.

As NALTO® Member Firms, we have agreed to uphold good industry standards of Best Practices which include the intake, credentialing, and verification of our Physician Candidates.

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To provide or not to provide workers’ compensation?

Physician staffing can be a fickle business. In today’s fiercely competitive market where loyalty runs thin, staffing agencies will bend over backwards to attract and keep a physician in their locum tenens pool or a hospital as a client. So when a physician or client insists that you sweeten the pot by providing workers’ compensation, what’s a locum tenens agency to do?

The answer is simple: To quote a former first lady, “Just say NO!” And if the physician or client challenges your frugality, explain you are simply trying to protect the independent relationship for all three parties to the transaction.

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