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Going Locum: Why More Physicians Are Making the Switch

Physicians of all ages, experience levels, and practice areas can benefit from Locum Tenens work. Now, more doctors and other medical professionals are making the switch and enjoying the numerous advantages of going Locum. Working in the medical field no longer means sacrificing work-life balance to get the career you want.

In fact, 78 percent of residents and fellows, 63 percent of solo practice physicians, 64 percent of salaried physicians, and 68 percent of retired physicians said they would consider Locum Tenens opportunities. Furthermore, up to 90 percent of healthcare organizations used Locum Tenens physicians within the last year, making it a highly demanded occupation. The reason for the interest in Locum Tenens work is due to the many benefits, including:

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Locum Tenens Physicians: How to Find Your Ideal Setting

A critical part of a physician's career is deciding on what setting they desire to practice in. There are many different factors involved in this decision, such as patient volume, location, specialty, compensation, CME opportunities and countless more, which can differ for every physician depending on what their personal and career goals are.    While this is an important decision for all physicians, it is an especially critical juncture for newly trained physicians, residents or fellows. When it comes to physicians’ lifestyles, between seeing patients and administrative duties it can be difficult to establish long term pursuits to obtain their ideal practice setting.

Additionally, once a setting is identified, finding a proper position can be a very difficult proposition.  Since there are so many factors involved, such as interviewing, travel, or relocation, it can be a burden to search for the ideal position and setting.  When a physician has not decided upon the different aspects of their ideal setting, they may consider Locum Tenens as an option.  Locum Tenens gives physicians an opportunity to not only learn about but personally experience various practice settings, allowing them the best possible chance to identify one that they love.

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Automation Creating Effective Contact Solutions in Healthcare

Ensuring patient satisfaction is a critical aspect of healthcare, but it is also time consuming. Automated solutions are helping physicians effectively communicate with patients.

Patient satisfaction is essential to the success of any healthcare practice. In a world where physicians experience extreme time constraints, ensuring the satisfaction of each patient can seem like an impossible task. Fortunately, healthcare companies are now creating solutions that allow practices to effectively communicate with patients without the stress of a time crunch.

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Telemedicine: The Engaging Approach to the Future of Medicine

Telemedicine connects patients with providers regardless of location. Using a variety of devices, healthcare providers can assess, diagnose, and treat patients across the nation.

The use of telemedicine is expected to grow up to 30 percent in less than a decade. Despite its seemingly impersonal nature, the popularity of telemedicine (otherwise known as telehealth) continues to increase. It offers numerous benefits, making it an exciting new approach in the future of medicine.

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Rural Physician Shortages: How Locum Tenens Can Help

Across the nation, the limited supply of physicians cannot keep up with the demand. Nowhere is this shortage more apparent than in rural areas. Fortunately, Locum Tenens can help.

The current physician shortage has negatively impacted patients’ access to quality healthcare. By 2025, it is estimated that there will be a need for up to 90,400 new doctors. Despite this growing need, the demand for physicians continues to outweigh the supply. Unfortunately, the impact of this shortage has hit rural areas the hardest.

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3 Benefits PAs Have Over Physicians

Just like doctors, physician assistants can assess and treat patients. While PAs frequently work in collaboration with physicians, they bring many unique advantages to a practice.

In 2015, there were nearly 110,000 physician assistants employed across the country. This profession is growing in popularity, and it is estimated that the market will increase by 30% in less than a decade. These individuals can work across a range of practice areas, from family medicine and dermatology to surgery and other hospital settings. Just like doctors, PAs can use their broad spectrum of knowledge alongside a general practitioner, or they can choose to specialize in a particular area, such as women’s health, primary care, cardiology or orthopedics.

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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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Avoid EMR Burnout in Your Physicians With Locum Tenens

Electronic Medical Records have great potential in healthcare. They can, however, cause issues, including physician burnout. Using Locum Tenens clinicians can avoid this problem.

Since their implementation, Electronic Medical Records (“EMR”) have helped clinicians treat and care for patients. These digital records provide healthcare organizations with the unique opportunity to monitor patient care over time. While they may ultimately improve clinical outcomes in the future, unfortunately, current use of EMRs has come at a cost, including the issue of clinician burnout.

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How locum tenens physicians stay fit while traveling

As every physician knows, eating well and exercising are two key factors in preventing illness and disease and for maintaining optimal health. But as every locum tenens physician knows, making good food choices and finding time for regular workouts while on the road is no easy task. Here are practical tips for staying fit and healthy while traveling.

Study your schedule in advance. Exercise—a brisk walk, yoga class, or hardcore gym workout—is often the first thing to fall off the list when life gets busy. Before you leave for a locum tenens engagement, look at your schedule and write in your calendar times when you can commit to exercise. Suzanne Schlosberg, author of The Ultimate Workout Log andThe Ultimate Diet Log says exercising four days a week is ideal, but doing something is better than doing nothing. "If it's a short-term stay, you don't necessarily have to maintain your usual level of exercise," she notes. "It doesn't take much to maintain your fitness. If you usually exercise five or six days a week, you can stay fit with twice-a-week workouts if you keep up the intensity of your workout." Schlosberg recommends a morning workout if possible because it's so easy to tell yourself that you're too tired at the end of the day.

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Know Before You Go: Preparing for a Locum Tenens Assignment

Whether you’re a seasoned locum tenens physician or you’ve just accepted your first contract opportunity, proper preparation is key to a successful assignment. The following is suggested for all providers to consider before their next start date:

  • EHR

One of the reasons doctors are drawn to locum tenens is the opportunity to get back to basics, and practice medicine in a way that sheds many of the bureaucratic obstacles faced by their full-time counterparts. However, a healthcare facility’s electronic health records (EHR) system is still part of the job that everyone shares. For any locum tenens provider, unfamiliarity with the EHR often equates to the largest time-waster they’ll encounter on any given assignment. Ask your recruiter about the system used by the facility you’re about to walk into, and make sure this administrative duty is not the pain point that stands in your way from quality time with patients.

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Locum Tenens Predictions for 2018 - (Physicians Practice)

Contrary to the everyday 'breaking news' cycle, there are positive stories to share from this year, including in healthcare staffing. Maybe it isn't as much about the crisis that we always face, as it is how we respond to be part of the solution.

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Ensuring continuity of care during a physician vacancy - (Physicians Practice)

Having a physician vacancy is not a viable option for today’s medical practices, yet many practices find themselves short-staffed and are suffering the consequences.

Last year, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) offered new research on the physician shortage, which is now projected to reach as high as 120,000 doctors by the year 2030. This ongoing disparity between supply and demand continues to drive the cycle of physician turnover.

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The Impact of Locum Tenens - (Physicians Practice)

Last August, the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO) celebrated the first-ever National Locum Tenens Week. The healthcare staffing industry is doing so again this week, and it’s an opportunity to thank locum tenens providers for their dedication to serving millions of patients at medical facilities every day in this country.

As many as 50,000 doctors, more than 5 percent of the physician workforce, practice medicine as a locum tenens doctor in more than 90 percent of our healthcare facilities to provide care for an estimated 7.5 million Americans every year, according to a recent report.

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Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC): Increasing Speed to Market for Locum Tenens

Medical providers who wish to practice in multiple states have traditionally faced a timely and cumbersome licensure process to do so. Therefore, many locum tenens companies have entire departments dedicated to helping physicians and advanced practitioners complete the necessary verification and credentialing requirements needed to begin any assignment. This includes assisting providers who need to attain (or renew) their license to practice medicine, a process that’s historically taken as long as six months in a single state.

Therein lies the recent good news from the Federation of State Medical Boards regarding the onset of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (or “IMLC”), designed to expedite the process for physicians to obtain multiple licenses through a single application.

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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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The locum tenens process: From inquiry to paycheck

Engaging in locum tenens practice as a full-time career or on a part-time basis is simpler than you might think. While there are several steps in the process that take you from initial inquiry to being paid for providing services, each one is straightforward. The process will vary somewhat among agencies, but here are nine steps that are consistent from firm to firm.

 

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Ethics: What locum tenens physicians should know

Within the locum tenens industry, there are ethical guidelines that, when followed, make life easier for all involved—from the physicians and the facilities where they practice, to the locum tenens agencies that put the two parties together. Here are a few things every physician should know about ethics and locum tenens practice.

LOCUM TENENS COMPANIES

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New ideas for achieving goals

The beginning of a new year brings with it the opportunity for a fresh start and renewed commitment. We make resolutions, but often fail to create a corresponding action plan that will help us reach those goals. By summer, most of us have all but forgotten what it was that we were so excited about changing or accomplishing back in the dark, short days of January. Can 2008 be different? Could this be the year that you succeed in reaching an important professional or personal goal? Very possibly. Consider a few new ideas.

Only set one goal

It is tempting at the beginning of a new year to make a long list of everything we want to achieve—lose weight, work out regularly, get a handle on finances, keep up on medical journals, volunteer at the homeless shelter, start dating again, read the classics. Are you exhausted just reading the list? Imagine setting one important goal this year and really committing to it. What would your one goal be? What one goal, if achieved, has the potential to improve the quality of your life in many other areas? Or what is one goal that would simply be a thrill to reach?

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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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