Ask the Experts Blog: Physician Recruitment & Healthcare Industry Trends

If you are an in-house physician recruiter attempting to fill search assignments, you may have questions about the physician recruitment process. "Ask the Experts" is a blog designed to address common physician recruiter questions and to participate in discussion. Physician recruiters can submit questions, and the experienced search consultants at Merritt Hawkins will provide insight, addressing common themes that emerge. Share your feedback by commenting on blog posts, allowing readers to benefit from the perspectives of other healthcare professionals. We encourage you to read, participate and submit questions at "Ask the Experts!"


White Paper: Keys To Effective Rural Physician Recruiting

Rural Physician Recruiting Challenges and Solutions


White Paper: Keys To Effective Rural Physician Recruiting

 By Phillip Miller

A recent article in the online publication RevCycleIntelligence notes that since 2010 there have been 82 rural hospital closures in the U.S., while many more rural hospitals are on shaky financial ground. In 2016, 41 percent of rural hospitals operated with negative margins.


A major challenge facing rural hospitals is the characteristics of the patients they typically serve. According to RevCycleIntelligence, “rural hospitals overwhelmingly treat more patients who are 65 years old, more veterans and larger numbers of diabetics than their non-rural peers. Their patients are also significantly more likely to experience childhood poverty, premature death, and increased childhood mortality rates. With fewer employed residents, employer-sponsored health plans account for a smaller portion of rural hospital payer mix, and uninsured patients unable to afford health insurance coverage are common.”


Adding to these challenges is the physician shortage, which is particularly acute in rural communities. While 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas only nine percent of physicians practice “out in the country.” In Merritt Hawkins’ 2017 Survey of Final-Year Medical Residents, only one percent of residents in their final year of training expressed a preference for communities of 10,000 people or fewer, while only three percent expressed a preference for communities of 25,000 people or fewer.


Merritt Hawkins has been partnering with rural hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and other rural healthcare facilities for 30 years. Based on this experience we have developed a white paper entitled Rural Physician Recruiting: Challenges and Solutions.


The white paper begins with the premise that rural facilities can offer a style of practice that many physicians still seek, featuring both clinical and operational autonomy and the emotional rewards that attract physicians to the medical field. It also outlines how rural facilities can use the factors they can control, such as financials, style of practice, and a sense of urgency, to their benefit when recruiting doctors.


I would be happy to provide readers with a copy of the white paper and would welcome any comments or questions regarding rural physician recruiting challenges and solutions.




Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communication for Merritt Hawkins and Staff Care, companies of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.


If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



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Posted by at 11/15/2017 2:37:06 PM
New AAMC Report: A State-by-State Portrait of Physicians

Physician Workforce Trends


New AAMC Report: A State-by-State Portrait of Physicians

 By Derek Klein

How many physicians are practicing in each state? Where does each state rank in terms of physician-to-population ratios? How many physicians are in residency and fellowship positions in each state? And how does each state fare in retaining the physicians they educate in medical schools and GME programs?


The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) addresses these questions in its biennial State Physician Workforce Data Report. The 2017 report is now available and provides state-specific data and rankings regarding active physicians and physicians in training in the United States, including counts of active physicians, medical students, and residents, age distribution, counts of International Medical Graduates (IMGs), and the current practice location of trainees who completed GME in the state.


According to the report, Massachusetts has the most physicians per population of any state, while Mississippi has the fewest.


The AAMC has responded to the growing physician shortage by a concerted effort to increase U.S. medical school enrollment, an effort that has succeeded. According to the AAMC, between the 2006–2007 and 2016–2017 academic years, the total number of students enrolled in medical schools increased by 32.8%. On a per capita basis, West Virginia has the highest medical school enrollment while Oregon has the lowest.


Unfortunately, the number of residency positions has only increased slightly in that time period. On a per capita basis, Massachusetts trains more physicians than any other state, while Alaska trains the fewest.


Physician supply in a given state is strongly influenced by the number of residents who train in the state and who subsequently join its workforce, so the ability to retain the medical residents trained in a given state is critical. According to the report, California is the most successful state in retaining its medical residents, while New Hampshire is the least successful.


The new AAMC Data Report is a great source of insight into physician workforce issues and is an essential tool for anyone recruiting physicians or interested in physician supply and demand trends. Readers can download the report here or I would be happy to forward a copy of the report to readers and I would welcome any comments you have about physician workforce trends in the United States.




Derek Klein is Corporate Communications Specialist with Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.


If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category:
Posted by at 11/9/2017 8:48:13 AM
Like Many Specialties, Vascular Surgery is Facing a Physician Shortage

The Physician Shortage and Vascular Surgery


Vascular Surgery and the Physician Shortage

 By Phillip Miller

When the topic of physician shortages arises, much of the attention goes to the dearth of primary care doctors – family physicians, general internists and pediatricians. There is a good reason for this. Demand for these types of doctors is extremely high while the supply is limited.


In 2017, family medicine was Merritt Hawkins most requested type of search assignment for the 11th year in a row, while internal medicine has been either second or third for 10 consecutive years. According to Merritt Hawkins’ 2017 Survey of Final-Year Medical Resident, 55% of primary care doctors receive 100 or more recruiting offers during their training, underscoring the acute demand for these types of physicians.


But it is a mistake to believe shortages are confined to primary care. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects there will be up to 104,900 too few doctors by 2030, including 43,100 too few primary care doctors but also including 61,800 too few specialists. Demand for specialists will be driven by patient demographics, as 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, most of whom will need specialists to care for ailing organs, bones, nervous systems, and psyches. Advances in medical technology and consumer preference for the most cutting edge care also will fuel demand for specialists.


Vascular surgery is just one of many specialties facing physician shortages that currently are flying under the radar. There are only several thousand of these specialists in the United States who take care of the circulatory system, while there are some 100 million people in the U.S. who are at risk for vascular disease, according to the Society for Vascular Surgery. More specialists will be needed to address vascular conditions from strokes to varicose veins, but the supply of vascular surgeons remains limited. An article in the Journal of Vascular Surgery indicates there will be an 11.6% deficit of vascular surgeons by 2030


The same point could be made for many other medical specialties. Merritt Hawkins conducts more searches for family physicians than for any other type of doctor, but that is in part a function of the fact that family physicians are comparatively numerous. Calculated by the number of searches Merritt Hawkins conducts relative to the total number of physicians in a given specialty, it could be argued that pulmonologists are in even greater demand than family physicians (see Merritt Hawkins’ 2017 Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives).


Those who have tried to make an appointment with a specialist lately can corroborate this trend. According to Merritt Hawkins 2017 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times, the average time to schedule a new patient appointment with a dermatologist is 32 days, up from 29 days in 2014. In Philadelphia, the average wait time to see a derm is 78 days.


Breakthroughs in diagnostic technology and the increased use of physician assistants and nurse practitioners can help address shortages in primary care, but are less likely to reduce the need for specialists. Healthcare delivery systems that emphasize prevention and population health may inhibit the utilization of specialty care at some points in a patient’s life, but ultimately our body parts wear out and require specialists to heal or to maintain. We can’t manage our way out of that fact. The nation is going to need more specialists. We should reduce the caps on residency programs and begin training them now.


Merritt Hawkins’ white paper Physician Supply Considerations: The Emerging Shortage of Specialists offers more detail about physician specialty shortages and I would be happy to email readers a copy of this resource.




Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins and Staff Care, companies of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.


If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category:
Posted by at 10/20/2017 12:47:54 PM
New White Paper: Recruiting Trends in Emergency Medicine

What to Know About Emergency Medicine


How the ACA Affects Healthcare Staffing

 By Travis Singleton

Emergency department visits are on the rise. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), visits to the ED have increased in recent years to a record high of 141.4 million in 2014. This trend is likely to continue even as the number of hospitals and emergency departments decrease across the nation.


As the number of ED visits increase, more emergency medicine physicians will be needed to staff hospitals and free standing emergency departments, many of which are already face recruiting challenges. Hospitals and health systems have recognized this trend and are looking for more emergency medicine physicians to staff their facilities. According to Merritt Hawkins’ 2017 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives, demand for physicians who work in the ED remains robust. Emergency medicine was the firm’s 7th most requested search in 2016/17. Additionally, the number of searches conducted by Merritt Hawkins for emergency medicine physicians increased by 12.5% over 2016.


These and related trends are explored in a new Merritt Hawkins’ white paper entitled Emergency Medicine: Physician Recruiting, Supply, and Staffing Considerations in Today’s Healthcare System. The white paper examines emergency medicine compensation trends, appropriate staffing levels, and work-life balance requirements that can be central to the successful recruitment and retention of emergency medicine physicians. Due to long practice hours, high stress levels, and high patient volume, emergency medicine physicians experience burnout at a rate three times greater than that of the average physician. To attract and retain the best emergency medicine physicians, hospital administrators must make preventing burnout a priority.


I would be happy to forward a copy of the white paper to readers and I would welcome any comments you have about recruitment trends in the emergency department in the United States. Please email me here if you would like a copy.




Travis Singleton is Senior Vice President of Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search and consulting firm. He can be reached here.


If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



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Posted by at 10/13/2017 12:41:35 PM
Merritt Hawkins in the News - Review of Q3 2017

Physician Salaries, Single Payer Health Care, and More


It is part of our ongoing mission to educate clients and candidates on the physician shortage and other employment and salary trends facing healthcare organizations across the nation. As part of this mission, Merritt Hawkins provides thought leadership and shared resources to the healthcare recruitment industry. In fact, our company has published or is cited in hundreds of articles appearing in a wide range of publications. The following are news articles from July 2017 - September 2017 referencing Merritt Hawkins.


If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.


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Posted by at 10/9/2017 8:06:24 AM
Nine Keys to Physician Alignment

How to Align and Retain Physicians


Nine Keys to Physician Alignment

 By Phillip Miller

Last year, Modern Healthcare reported that hospital ownership of physician practices grew by 86% from 2012 to 2015, as hospitals acquired 31,000 physician practices (Hospital ownership of physician practices grows by 86% in three years. September 7, 2016). The article also noted that one in four physician practices are now owned by hospitals.

Physicians are embracing hospital employment as a safe harbor from the financial and bureaucratic burdens of private practice. However, that does not mean they are eager to realign their interests or modify their behaviors with a hospital simply because they have become employees.

Hospitals seeking to enhance physician alignment and retention should look beyond employment by implementing the following best practices: 


  • Understand the value physicians bring. Healthcare executives face many challenges that may obscure a key reality: physicians remain the fulcrum on which the health system turns. Physicians generate an average $1.5 million in revenue annually for their affiliated hospitals and drive the lion’s share of healthcare spending. In a value-based system, it is physicians who will largely determine if hospital quality, savings and reimbursement goals are achieved. They are a resource to be cultivated, not board pieces to be controlled. 
  • Consider the physicians’ perspective. Fifty-four percent of physicians surveyed by The Physicians Foundation/Merritt Hawkins described their morale as negative, while 63% are pessimistic about the future. Close to one-half are looking to make a change and about 12% relocate each year. Hospitals should start from the premise that many of their physicians are dissatisfied and have plenty of options to vote with their feet. 
  • Have a vision. Hospitals need to clearly articulate to physicians how they plan to navigate the turbulent waters of change. In particular, where does the hospital plan to be on the continuum between traditional fee-for-service and the fully integrated, risk-sharing model? Physicians who buy-into the vision may become more engaged while those who may impede the vision will have a chance to move on. 
  • Seek input. The only way to gauge the mood of medical staff members is to solicit their opinion. Hospitals should conduct an annual physician engagement survey asking doctors to rate hospital services and management, express their needs and concerns, and comment on their morale and practice plans. Hospital leaders then must demonstrate that they have responded to physician input and made appropriate changes. 
  • Recruit to retain. The seeds of physician turnover often are sowed during the recruiting process when expectations are not properly communicated. Hospitals should delineate in writing exactly what they expect from physicians in terms of hours, time-off, patient volumes, quality metrics, EHR use and related practice characteristics. 
  • Create an optimum workspace. What physicians desire above all else is a place where they can provide their patients with efficient, high quality care. It is critical that hospitals create the most physician- friendly workplace possible, with easy admissions, quick access to patient data, timely test turnaround, OR access, efficient triage and, yes, convenient parking. 
  • Provide clear, competitive compensation. There is an abundance of physician compensation data available and doctors generally know their market value. It is how compensation is structured, however, rather than the dollar amount that really counts today. Is the compensation formula clear and is it fair? Physicians are weary of confusing, constantly shifting compensation models, a fact underscored by Geisinger Health Systems’ recent move from value-based physician comp to straight salaries. 
  • Hire physician leaders. When physicians are asked to modify their behaviors they want to know the clinical and empirical reasons for doing so. They often are more amenable to change when the message is delivered by fellow physicians who understand what effect change will have on physician practice patterns and on patient well-being. 
  • Continually communicate. An annual survey is not enough. Hospital leaders must get to know their doctors and understand their world because in an evolving healthcare system they are going to sink or swim together.

Merritt Hawkins’ white paper, Ten Keys to Enhancing Physician/Hospital Relations and Reducing Burnout and Turnover, explores these and related concepts in more detail. Please email me here if you would like a copy.




Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins and Staff Care, companies of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.


If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



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Posted by at 10/4/2017 12:06:24 PM
The Joys of Rural Medicine and the Need for More Funding

Physician Shortage Strongly Impacts Rural Communities


The Joys of Rural Medicine and the Need for More Funding

 By Phillip Miller

Physician shortages are an unfortunate but longstanding fact of life in America’s rural communities.


The federal government now lists close to 7,000 Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) nationwide, most of them in rural areas, where there is a dearth of primary care doctors. About 20% of Americans live in rural areas but only about one-tenth of physicians practice in such areas. And Merritt Hawkins’ new Survey of Final-Year Medical Residents shows that only 1% of newly trained physicians would prefer to practice in a community of 10,000 people or less.


The situation might be different if more physicians could speak with Dr. John Cullen, president-elect of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Dr. Cullen recently penned a blog for the AAFP that offers one of the most insightful and compelling arguments for why physicians should consider rural medical practice that I have ever read.


Dr. Cullen also notes that two sources of funding that help place physicians in rural areas are up for renewal. Funding for both the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program and the National Health Services Corps (NHSC) will expire on September 30 unless Congress takes action.


The THCGME trains primary care residents in outpatient locations rather than teaching hospitals, mostly in Federally Qualified Health Centers, rural health clinics and tribal health centers. In the 2015-2016 academic year, the program trained 732 residents, who are much more likely to choose a rural practice than are traditionally trained physicians. The NHSC provides scholarships and loan forgiveness to nearly 10,500 primary care physicians, dentists and mental health professionals working in underserved areas.


Dr. Cullen provides this link where physicians and others can go to show support for funding for these programs.


It is to be hoped that funding for these programs will remain robust and that more physicians will embrace the challenges and rewards of rural medical practice.




Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins and Staff Care, companies of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.


If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



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Posted by at 9/26/2017 2:17:49 PM
2017 Physician Incentive Review Now Available

Family Doctors Top the List of the Most Highly Recruited Physicians in the US


Physician Incentive Review 2017

By Travis Singleton


It’s an annual occurrence that has become a key point on the calendar for healthcare executives, recruiters, media members, doctors and others who follow physician recruitng trends.


I refer to the release of Merritt Hawkins’ Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives, the longest running and most comprehensive examination of the starting salaries, signing bonuses and other perks and benefits used to recruit physicians today.


Merritt Hawkins’ 2017 Review has just been completed and includes data generated by the 3,287 physician and advanced practitioner recruiting assignments Merritt Hawkins and its sister companies conducted from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.


For the 11th consecutive year, the Review indicates that family doctors top the list of the most highly recruited physicians in the United States, followed by psychiatrists, internists, obstetrician/gynecologists, and hospitalists. The average starting salary for family physicians is $231,000, according to the 2017 Review, up from $198,000 in 2015, an increase of 17%. The average starting salary for psychiatrists is $263,000, according to the Review, up from $226,000 two years ago, while the average starting salary for general internists is $257,000, up from $207,000 two years ago.


In addition to data on physician starting salaries and other incentives, the Review includes an in-depth analysis of the demographic, economic and legislative trends shaping the physician recruiting market today. It is an indispensable resource for those seeking to craft competitive physician recruiting incentive packages and for those seeking insights into today’s physician market dynamics. A breakdown of key findings of the survey offers a quick look at some of the data included in the 2017 Review. Those who would like a complete copy of the 46-page Review are welcome to email me here.  


Travis Singleton is Senior Vice President of Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.




If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category: Physician Compensation
Posted by at 8/11/2017 1:07:18 PM
Happy National Health Center Week

Merritt Hawkins is proud to be a long-time supporter of FQHCs


National Health Center Week: Time to Celebrate a Healthcare Success Story

 By Travis Singleton

Merritt Hawkins is proud to be a long-time supporter of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and to be the sole preferred partner for permanent physician search of the National Association of Community Health Center’s Value in Staffing Program.


By partnering with FQHCs around the country, we have the privilege of seeing first-hand how pivotal health centers are to the well-being of millions of traditionally underserved patients nationwide. Enjoying widespread support from both ends of the political spectrum, FQHCs have expanded to approximately 9,000 sites of service and offer primary care, mental health and dental services to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.


At a time when the healthcare system is facing serious challenges, FQHCs are an unqualified success story, providing quality, affordable, and accessible care to over 24 million patients a year. Through the skills and compassion of a growing number of mission-driven physicians, advanced practitioners and other professionals, FQHCs offer the right care model at the right time.


Merritt Hawkins and our sister company, Staff Care (both companies of AMN Healthcare) are supporting National Health Center Week (August 14-20) with a $30,000 Bronze Level Sponsorship. Our representatives also will be personally attending National Health Center Week celebrations at six healthcare centers, including:


  1. Northeast Valley Health 
  2. Sunset Life 
  3. Metro Community Provider Network 
  4. Great Lakes Bay Health Center 
  5. Central Virginia Health Services
  6. Mountain Comprehensive Health

 


Merritt Hawkins’ executives will present a plaque to each of the health centers recognizing their commitment to community health and will speak on the central role FQHCs play in providing quality, affordable care to medically underserved populations.


As part of our ongoing support for FQHCs, Merritt Hawkins has developed a white board video illustrating both the key role FQHCs play in today’s health system and how Merritt Hawkins partners with FQHCs nationwide on physician and advanced practitioner recruiting efforts.


Merritt Hawkins also supports FQHCs year-round with thought leadership resources, including white papers and speaking presentations, and with our unique-to-the-industry Pro Bono Physician Search Program for FQHCs. I would be happy to share a copy of our most recent white paper, entitled Topic Guide for FQHCs: Physician Recruiting and Retention, to readers who may find it useful. Please contact me here and have a great National Health Center Week!




Travis Singleton is senior vice president of Merritt Hawkins, a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.


If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



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Posted by at 8/9/2017 1:14:46 PM
The Physician Interview: It's What You Don't See That Counts

How to Approach a Physician Interview


The Physician Interview: It's What You Don't See That Counts

By Rick Novak


When a hospital, medical group or other health care facility schedules an on-site physician interview they are certainly prudent to make the best of their time with the candidate.


The on-site interview, however, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to physician recruiting. It’s the time and effort spent before the interview takes place that really counts. The success of the physician interview almost always depends on the depth and clarity of the information shared by both the recruiting party and the candidate prior to the candidate’s arrival on-site.


In Merritt Hawkins’ experience, physician interviews work best when the candidate has obtained all the information he or she needs to make an informed decision prior to arrival. This includes a detailed description of practice hours, schedules, responsibilities, patient load, equipment, path to partnership (if relevant) and related matters. It also includes a contract or letter of agreement stipulating the salary and other contractual terms offered by the practice.


In turn, the recruiting party should have all the information they need about the candidate’s training, experience, requirements, practice preferences and personal preferences to make an informed decision.


The interview then becomes an opportunity for confirmation of what has already been covered, rather than an exploration of what the practice may offer. For this reason, it makes sense to follow the 70/30 rule, structuring the interview to be 70% social and 30% business. When candidates come to the interview fully informed, the interview becomes primarily an opportunity to discover if the key players involved will fit on a personal and philosophical level. They need to share time together in the practice environment and outside the practice to determine if they are likely to make an enduring match.


This point and other suggestions for getting the most out of the physician interview are explored in more detail in the new Merritt Hawkins’ white paper Structuring the Physician Interview.


I would be happy to provide readers with a copy of this timely resource and I welcome any comments or anecdotes you may have about the do’s and don’ts of physician interviews.


Rick Novak is Regional Vice President of Recruiting for Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached at here or at 469-524-1570.




If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category: Recruiting Physicians
Posted by at 8/9/2017 1:11:38 PM
Merritt Hawkins in the News - Q2 Review

Physician Salaries, Health Care in America, and More


It is part of our ongoing mission to educate clients and candidates on the physician shortage and other employment and salary trends facing healthcare organizations across the nation. As part of this mission, Merritt Hawkins provides thought leadership and shared resources to the healthcare recruitment industry. In fact, our company has published or is cited in hundreds of articles appearing in a wide range of publications. The following are news articles from April 2017 - June 2017 referencing Merritt Hawkins.


 


If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category: Doctor Shortage;Physician Compensation
Posted by at 8/7/2017 11:11:21 AM
Why Veterans Make Great Healthcare Hires

Hiring Veterans in Healthcare Benefits Everyone


Why Veterans Make Great Healthcare Hires

By Doug Bennett, Contributing Writer


Hiring veterans into healthcare positions is a win-win for both retired military personnel and healthcare employers. As the military is a great training ground for new clinicians—providing them with the experience, medical knowledge and skills they’ll need for successful patient outcomes—looking to the armed forces as a source for new talent can add great value to your organization.


Same folks, different strokes


Like hospitals and health systems, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are large, complex and demanding organizations. They employ highly intelligent men and women who know how to listen carefully, speak clearly and work under intense pressure—all indispensable characteristics for anyone providing bedside care. Like healthcare workers, military personnel also understand and appreciate the value of teamwork, camaraderie and diversity.


Military clinical experience affords a unique edge


Veterans with clinical experience attained during military service have an edge when transitioning into civilian healthcare jobs as they have likely diagnosed a greater range of conditions than the average healthcare worker. Veterans who have served on the frontlines of a conflict or war are particularly adept at handling the fast-paced, high pressure environments commonly associated with delivering healthcare.


A boon for healthcare employers


Veterans are perceived as dependable, loyal and trustworthy, so hiring them can be one of the best moves a healthcare employer can make. Hiring veterans also offers good publicity and can generate federal tax breaks. Many medical schools, hospitals and health systems now offer training programs to help veterans make the transition to healthcare careers.


Strong technology skills


Today’s modern military relies upon state-of-the-art technology, requiring personnel to develop strong technical skills. Whether recruits train as mechanics, program analysts or logistics technicians, the technical skills they gain during their time in the armed forces translates well to the technology heavy healthcare sector.


Foreign language skills to enhance communication


Facility and comfort with foreign languages is another valuable skill in diverse healthcare settings. Because they are often deployed around the world for extended periods of time, military personnel often know foreign languages and understand the nuances of international communication.


Adaptability, flexibility and resiliency


Military personnel sometimes work in very challenging, if not hostile, environments. Readying for deployment and the unpredictable nature of varying field operations teaches preparedness and flexibility. They accept that uncertainty is a norm and are remarkably adaptable and resilient. When the chips are down, veterans know how to innovate and improvise.


Sowing the seeds of good leadership


Military personnel, especially those in leadership roles, are accustomed to making decisions in dynamic and rapidly changing circumstances. Sound familiar? Ultimately, veterans demonstrate a willingness to make personal sacrifices for the greater good, echoing the dynamic that exists in many healthcare jobs and settings.


Merritt Hawkins is Here for You


When the chips are down and you need physician recruiting assistance for your healthcare facility, the experienced staff at Merritt Hawkins can help you find candidates for even the most demanding positions. Contact us today for your most critical staffing needs.




If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category: Recruiting Physicians
Posted by at 7/14/2017 12:42:12 PM
Physicians Not On Board With The AHCA

Physician Survey on the AHCA

By Phil Miller


Physicians Not On Board With The AHCA

Historically, physicians have rarely been supportive of government sponsored legislation intended to shape how healthcare is delivered in the United States.


According to a new survey conducted by Merritt Hawkins, this lack of support extends to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) – at least to the version recently passed by the House.


The survey of 1,112 physicians indicates that 66% of physicians have a negative impression of the AHCA, only 26% have a positive impression, and seven percent are neutral.


In a 2016 survey of 17,236 physicians that Merritt Hawkins conducted on behalf of The Physicians Foundation, 23% of physicians gave the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a positive grade of A or B, 28% gave it an average grade of C, while 48% gave it a negative grade of D or F. The AHCA, now being considered by the Senate, gets an even higher negative rating, according to the new Merritt Hawkins survey. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed have a strongly negative impression of the bill, 8% have a somewhat negative impression, while relatively few (7%) are neutral.


The survey has an error rate of +/- 2.87% as determined by experts in statistical response at the University of Tennessee and echoes statements from the American Medical Association and other physician groups that have come out against the bill. Read what Forbes had to say regarding the survey here.


I would welcome any comments others may have about the ACHA and about how the healthcare system can or should be reformed.


Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here .




If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category:
Posted by at 5/18/2017 8:28:02 AM
The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact: Less Bureaucracy and Better Access to Care

Physician Licensing Across State-lines

 

Phil Miller


Here is a man bites dog story that anyone in the healthcare industry is sure to appreciate. An initiative has been launched that will actually reduce bureaucratic paperwork and increase access to physicians for patients in states that traditionally have experienced physician shortages.


The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact offers an expedited pathway to licensure for physicians who want to practice in multiple states. There are now 19 states participating in the Compact, with others planning to do so (see map).


The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact: Less Bureaucracy and Better Access to Care

Through the Compact it is expected that the time to licensure physicians will be cut in half in participating states. This is a significant benefit for hospitals, medical groups and other facilities recruiting physicians, as it will streamline a process that often proves a hindrance and even a deal breaker when trying to secure a new physician. It will bring physicians to places where they are needed faster and accelerate the implementation of telemedicine, which also can be slowed by the licensure process. And it will be a welcome relief for physicians, who already have to deal with an inordinate amount of paperwork.


Physicians who wish to qualify for expedited licensure via the Compact must hold a full, unrestricted medical license in a Compact member state, and at least one of the following must apply:


  • The physician’s primary residence is in the state of principal licensure (SPL)
  • At least 25% of his or her practice occurs in the SPL
  • His or her employer is located in the SPL
  • The physician uses the SPL has his or her state of residence for U.S. federal income tax purposes

In addition, physicians must have:


  • Graduated from an accredited medical school, or a school listed in the International Medical Education Directory
  • Successful completion of ACGME or AOA-accredited graduate medical education
  • Passed each component of the USMLE, COMPL-USA, or equivalent after no more than three attempts
  • Hold a current specialty certification or time-unlimited certification by an ABMS or AOA board
  • Must not have any disciplinary actions toward their medical licensure
  • Must not have any criminal history
  • Must not have controlled substance actions toward their license
  • Must not currently be under investigation

The Compact is voluntary for both states and physicians. Physicians who cannot or do not want to participate in the Compact can still obtain licenses in Compact states going through the traditional licensure process.


To obtain licenses through the Compact, an eligible physician will designate a member state as the state of principal licensure (SPL) and select the other member states in which a medical license is desired. The SPL will verify the physician’s eligibility and provide credential information to the Interstate Commission. The Commission will then collect applicable fees and transmit the physician’s information and licensure fees to the additional states. Upon receipt in the additional states, the physician will be granted a license.


The Compact offers a sensible solution to address a growing problem and is picking up momentum as more states come on board and as more physicians participate. I would be happy to hear from readers who can comment on how the Compact has affected them or is likely to.


Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here .





If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category:
Posted by at 5/18/2017 8:01:20 AM
Physician Recruiting Professionals: The 'Source of the Source'

Join us at the ASPR Annual Meeting

Physician Recruiting Professionals: The 'Source of the Source'

By Travis Singleton

 

The tectonic plates underlying healthcare continue to shift at an unprecedented rate and it is difficult to know what the healthcare system will look like one year from now or even six months from now.


There is one thing that seems virtually certain, however, and that is that doctors will remain at the center of the system.


Whether legislation coming out of Washington eventually leads to a more market driven system or to single-payer, it is physicians who will drive quality, costs and revenue.


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), physicians handle 1.2 billion patient visits a year in office settings and in hospital emergency departments. Little happens in healthcare, be it hospital admissions, prescriptions, tests, treatment plans, surgical and diagnostic procedures or hospital discharges that is not ordered by, performed by, or supervised by a physician.


According to the Boston University School of Health, physicians receive or direct 87% of personal health care spending in the U.S., while a study commissioned by the American Medical Association (AMA) indicates that each office-based physician generates $2.2 million in economy activity and supports an average of 14 jobs. Merritt Hawkins’ 2016 Survey of Physician Inpatient/Outpatient Revenue shows that, on average, physicians generate $1.5 million a year in net revenue on behalf of their affiliated hospital.


As payment systems evolve toward value-based metrics and away from volume-based metrics, physicians will be instrumental to enhancing quality of care by directing inter-professional care teams. They also will be critical to the bottom line through the appropriate utilization of resources, which is the key to maintaining profitability in capitated payment models.


As the Association of Staff Physician Recruiters (ASPR) convenes for its annual meeting, it is appropriate to note both the continued vital importance of physicians and the corresponding importance of physician recruiting professionals. By identifying and securing qualified physicians for their organizations, physician recruiters are the “source of the source” of the patient care and revenue physicians provide.


Merritt Hawkins is proud to partner with ASPR members nationwide and to provide them with supplementary resources and market data when required. We will be attending the ASPR meeting in San Diego, April 29th to May 3rd and invite ASPR members to visit us at Booth 209. We look forward to seeing you there!


Travis Singleton is Senior Vice President of Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here or at 469-524-1630 .





If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category:
Posted by at 5/12/2017 12:45:08 PM
Survey: Physician Appointment Wait Times up 30% From 2014

 

Physician Supply and Demand Trends

2017 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times and Medicare and Medicaid Acceptance Rates

By Travis Singleton

 

At least two interesting developments in the arena of physician supply and demand trends took place in the same week of March this year.


One development was the release by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) of its projected physician shortage numbers. The AAMC projects that by 2030, the U.S. could be short of up to 104,900 physicians.


The second development was the release by Merritt Hawkins of its 2017 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times and Medicare and Medicaid Acceptance Rates. The survey indicates that the time it takes to schedule a new patient physician appointment in 15 major metropolitan areas has increased by 30 percent since 2014.


According to the survey, it now takes an average of 24 days to schedule a new patient physician appointment in 15 of the largest cities in the U.S., up from 18.5 days in 2014, 20.5 days in 2009 and 21 days in 2004, previous years the survey was conducted. In some cities and in some specialties, wait times are becoming extreme.


Boston is experiencing the longest average physician appointment wait times of the 15 metro markets examined in the survey: 109 days to see a family physician, 52 days to see a dermatologist, 45 days to see an obstetrician/gynecologist, 45 days to see a cardiologist and 11 days to see an orthopedic surgeon. On average, it takes 52 days to schedule a physician appointment in Boston, according to the survey.


Average physician appointment wait times in other cities tracked by the survey include 37 days in Philadelphia, 28 days in Portland, 28 days in Seattle, 27 days in Denver, and 24 days in Los Angeles.


The 2017 survey includes for the first time average new patient physician appointment wait times in 15 mid-sized metropolitan areas of approximately 90,000 to 140,000 people. The average time to schedule a new patient physician appointment in mid-sized metro areas is 32 days, or 33 percent longer than in the 15 major metro markets.


Yakima, Washington has the longest average physician appointment wait times of the 15 mid-sized cities at 49 days while Billings, Montana has the shortest at 11 days.


Though the health system appears to be on the threshold of yet another series of profound changes, one thing remains constant: the demand for physicians continues to outpace the supply.


The 2017 survey includes a wealth of data not only on physician appointment wait times but on the rate of physician Medicare and Medicaid acceptance. You can access the survey here.


Travis Singleton is Senior Vice President of Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here or at 469-524-1630.





If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category: Doctor Shortage
Posted by at 4/27/2017 8:42:37 AM
The 2017 Residency Match: Good News and Bad News

Match Day 2017 Review

The 2017 Residency Match Good News/Bad News

By Tom Florence

 

Match Day 2017 served up some good news and some not so good news for those concerned by the prospect of ongoing physician shortages in America.


Match Day is the day in March when medical school graduates from both the United States and many countries abroad learn the location and specialty of the residency programs where they will train for the next three to seven years. It is a source of great joy to many medical school graduates who match to the programs they applied for and a source of disappointment to others who do not.


The good news is that a record-high 18,539 U.S. allopathic medical school seniors submitted program choices to the Match, and of these, 17,480 were accepted, for a match rate of 94.3%, according to a press release from the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).


An additional 3,590 U.S. osteopathic seniors submitted program choices, an increase of 608 over 2016, and 2,933 (81.7%) matched, also a record high. Family medicine programs offered 3,356 positions, 209 more than in 2016, and 3,215 (95.8%) of positions were filled.


For non-U.S. medical school graduates the news is not so good. Of the 5,069 U.S. citizen international medical graduates (IMGs) who submitted program choices, only 54.8% matched. Of the 7,284 non-U.S. citizen IMGs who submitted program choices, only 52.4% matched.


Some of the medical school seniors, both U.S. graduates and IMGs, who did not match initially will find a program through the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP). But the fact remains that there are many more medical school seniors applying to the Match than there are openings at residency programs. Even some U.S. allopathic graduates now do not match and may find their path to becoming a practicing physician blocked.


The bottleneck is the cap placed by Congress two decades ago on Medicare funding for Graduate Medical Education (GME). While the number of U.S. medical graduates has increased by over 27% from 2002 to 2016, the number of residency positions has increased by less than 8%. Until the cap is removed, the supply of physicians being trained is unlikely to keep pace with demand for medical services, and medical school graduates, including many U.S. grads, will be unable to find a training program.


I would be interested to learn what others think of this year’s Match results and what can be done to address looming physician shortages.


Tom Florence is Senior Vice President of Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here or at 800-876-0500.





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Category: Recruiting Physicians;Doctor Shortage
Posted by at 4/25/2017 11:44:50 AM
A Message on National Doctors' Day

We Need More Doctors

Happy Doctors Day 2017

By Phillip Miller

 

It’s appropriate on March 30 -- National Doctor’s Day -- to reflect on both the value physicians bring to society and how they are viewed from a public policy perspective.


Physicians in the U.S. handle an overwhelming 1.2 billion patient encounters a year in office, inpatient and emergency department settings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They diagnosis illness, admit patients to the hospital, prescribe drugs, develop treatment plans, perform complex procedures, coordinate care – and save and enhance countless lives in the process. Despite the growing role of other types of clinicians, physicians remain at the core of health care delivery and are indispensable as diagnosticians, surgeons, team leaders and patient advocates.


They also play a central economic role within the communities in which they practice. Each primary care physician supports 14 jobs and generates $2.2 million in economic activity, according to a study conducted by IMS Health for the American Medical Association (AMA).


Nevertheless, some policy makers believe that physicians represent a cost to the healthcare system rather than an asset. Those who hold that view remain committed to limiting the supply of doctors. This perspective recently was reflected in an article posted by the Journal of the American Medical Association in which the authors contend that there is no physician shortage and that the number of physicians being trained in the U.S. should not be increased.


A contrary perspective from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) also was posted by JAMA, in which the authors present the AAMC’s new projection that the U.S. will face a deficit of up to 104,900 doctors by 2030 and that consequently the number of physicians being trained in the U.S. should be increased.


On virtually the same day that these articles were posted, Merritt Hawkins released its 2017 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times indicating that the time it takes to schedule a new patient physician appointment in 15 major metro areas has increased by 30% since 2014 and now stands at an average of 24 days. In some metro areas the wait is much longer. In Boston, for example, the time to schedule a new patient appointment with a family medicine physician averages 109 days.


Nevertheless, in terms of actual policy, the perspective of those who believe that physician supply should be restricted prevails. Congress set a cap on the amount of funds spent on physician graduate medical education (GME) in 1997, and that cap remains in place, despite numerous bills submitted to Congress that would lift it. As a result, the number of new physicians being trained has increased only incrementally in the last 20 years while demand for medical services has rapidly accelerated.


As the nation’s leading physician search firm, Merritt Hawkins views physician supply and demand trends from what might be called the street level rather than the theoretical level. We understand how difficult it is to recruit physicians in today’s market, and we also are privileged to witness the profoundly beneficial effects physicians have on their patients and their communities. It is a pleasure on National Doctor’s Day to pay tribute to the remarkable, life-enhancing work that physicians do and to their unique skills, passion and commitment.


Physicians are a vital asset to the nation’s well-being and Merritt Hawkins is firmly in the camp of those who believe we should be training more of them. What messages would you like to convey about physicians on Doctor’s Day?


Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.





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Category: Recruiting Physicians
Posted by at 4/11/2017 12:41:16 PM
Merritt Hawkins in the News - 2017 Q1 Review

Doctor Wait Times, MACRA, Healthcare Reform, and More


It is part of our ongoing mission to educate clients and candidates on the physician shortage and other employment and salary trends facing healthcare organizations across the nation. As part of this mission, Merritt Hawkins provides thought leadership and shared resources to the healthcare recruitment industry. In fact, our company has published or is cited in hundreds of articles appearing in a wide range of publications. The following are news articles from January 2017 - March 2017 referencing Merritt Hawkins.


 




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Category: Recruiting Physicians;Doctor Shortage
Posted by at 4/5/2017 12:28:08 PM
A Key New Blue Print For Primary Care Physicians

Primary Care Physicians and Population Health

Primary Care Physicians and Population Health

By Travis Singleton

 

The “New Health Economy” – one that is driven by value rather than volume and attempts to address the societal determinants of health -- will need many advocates and participants to become an effective reality.


Of these, primary care physicians may play the leading role. It is primary care physicians who will serve as the “quarterbacks” of interdisciplinary care teams ensuring proper resource allocation, a population health approach, and the other elements of value-based care.


A new resource from Price Waterhouse Cooper’s (PwC’s) Health Research Institute offers primary care physicians a guide for how they can prepare for and lead the healthcare system in this new direction. Preparing Future Primary Care Physicians for the New Health Economy is PwC’s guide to how primary care physicians can gain essential insight into:


  • What it means to deliver value 
  • Whole health basics and how to triage to a wide cast of clinical and nonclinical caregivers within the health system and the community 
  • How to coordinate/manage a patient across a growing number of options for care 
  • How to design data-driven, evidence-based care plans

Merritt Hawkins was pleased to provide data and insight into the preparation of this resource and to be part of the network of organizations PwC’s Health Research Institute calls upon when preparing studies of this kind.


Preparing Future Primary Care Physicians for the New Health Economy is a timely and practical guide not just for physicians but for any healthcare professional with a stake in steering the healthcare system toward a more value-based and communal approach.


The entire report can be accessed here. I encourage readers to review it and I would be interested in hearing any comments or questions you may have.


Travis Singleton is Senior Vice President of Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here or at 469-524-1630.





If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category:
Posted by at 3/29/2017 10:41:39 AM
Behavioral Care in America: the Crisis Continues

 

Exploring Challenges in Behavioral Health and Psychiatry

Behavorial Care in America the Crisis Continues

By Phillip Miller

 

In March of this year, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) put out a statistical brief likely to cause consternation among providers of behavioral health services.


According to the brief, emergency department visits by adults with suicidal thoughts more than doubled from 2006 to 2013. On average, these visits rose by 12% each year over the seven year period.


By 2013, 1% of all adult ED visits were related to suicidal thoughts, up from 0.4% in 2013. In 2013, over 71% of ED visits linked to suicidal thoughts resulted in a hospital admission, compared to 19% of all other types of ED visits. The average length of stay for suicidal patients increased from 5.1 days to 5.6 days. The cost of these visits and subsequent hospitalizations rose from $600 million in 2006 to $2.2 billion in 2013.


These alarming statistics are yet another manifestation of the burgeoning crisis in behavioral care that is challenging healthcare providers nationwide. Another sign of the crisis is the rapid rise in demand for psychiatrists and other behavioral health professionals.


In 2016, psychiatry was Merritt Hawkins’ second most requested search assignment, trailing only family practice on the list of most in-demand medical specialties. This was the first time psychiatry has ranked so high. Ten years ago, psychiatry was 10th on the list.


There are a variety of reasons why behavioral health challenges continue to be so pressing. These reasons are explored in a Merritt Hawkins’ white paper entitled, Psychiatry: The Silent Shortage. The white paper both examines trends in the supply and demand for psychiatrists and discusses recruiting challenges in psychiatry. Merritt Hawkins also speaks on this subject before healthcare professional groups, most recently at a meeting of over 200 facility administrators held by hospital management company Universal Health Services on March 15.


I would be happy to forward a copy of the white paper to readers and I would welcome any comments you have about the current state of behavioral care in America.


Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications with Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare (NYSE: AMN). He can be reached here.





If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category: Doctor Shortage
Posted by at 3/20/2017 1:05:46 PM
'Hillbilly Physician' is 2017 Country Doctor of the Year

Highlighting the Contributions of Rural Physicians

2017 Country Doctor of the Year

by Phil Miller


Dr. Van Breeding, a self-described "hillbilly physician" from Whitesburg, Kentucky, is the 2017 Country Doctor of the Year.


Presented by Staff Care, which, like Merritt Hawkins, is a company of AMN Healthcare, the Country Doctor of the Year Award honors the spirit, skill and dedication of America's rural medical practitioners.


Established in 1992, the County Doctor of the Year Award has been bestowed on some of the most extraordinary physicians in the United States, and Dr. Breeding is no exception. In this profile, HealthLeaders offers insights into the remarkable work Dr. Breeding is doing on behalf of his patients as he practices with Mountain Comprehensive Health, a community health center in Whitesburg.

Dr. Breeding's impact on his area of Appalachia also was depicted on a recent segment broadcast of ABC's Nightline program.


Merritt Hawkins is proud to be a part of an organization that highlights the vital contributions that rural physicians make every day to the well being of their patients.


If you would like more information on the Country Doctor of the Year Award, or if you would like to nominate a doctor that you may know for the award, please visit www.staffcare.com.


I would be pleased to hear from readers who have stories to tell about how rural physicians have affected their lives or the lives of people they may know.


Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins and Staff Care, companies of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.





If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category:
Posted by at 3/8/2017 7:37:47 AM
New White Paper Addresses Physician Turnover

Physician Turnover and Healthcare Staffing Trends

New White Paper Addresses Physician Turnover

In the so-called “golden age of medicine,” physicians followed a generally uniform career pattern. Complete residency, “set out a shingle” or join another physician as a prospective partner, practice for 30 or 40 years, retire.


Today, a new pattern has emerged in which most physicians are not independent practice owners but employees of hospitals, multi-physician medical groups, community health centers, urgent care centers, or a variety of other entities. They no longer have the emotional or financial ties that kept them practicing in one spot for years or decades. As practice owners, they typically owned the equipment in their offices, paid rent or owned the building, hired the employees and had all the responsibilities rewards that tie small business owners to their businesses.


As employees, they are relatively free to pull up stakes and seek greener pastures – and in an era when doctors are in great demand, they get many offers to do so. As a result, turnover among medical staffs has become a challenge for many healthcare facilities. According to the healthcare data company SK&A, the annual relocation rate for all physicians is 12%, with variations by specialty (see chart below):

 

   Annual Physician Relocation Rates by Specialty 

Urgent care….............………19.94% 

  Pain Management……………19.40% 

 Oncology……...................….17.85% 

 Radiology………..………….17.23% 

  Psychiatry……….……………14.7% 

 Family medicine………………13.47% 

 Internal medicine….………….11.98% 

 General surgery…………………11.17% 

 OB/GYN………………………10.66% 

 

 Source: SK&A Healthcare Provider Move Rates, August 2015 

 

With physician turnover a major challenge, many healthcare facilities are examining their retention programs to ensure they are able to keep the physicians they recruit. Merritt Hawkins recently completed a white paper outlining steps hospitals in particular can take to improve their relationship with their medical staffs. Entitled, Ten Keys to Enhancing Physician/Hospital Relations, the white paper outlines the how physician retention begins during the recruiting process and extends to establishing the most favorable “physician workshop” possible.


Though the white paper focuses on physician/hospital relations, the principles apply to other entities that employ physicians. I would be happy to provide readers who email me with a copy of the white paper and also would be glad to hear from readers who have developed their own physician retention strategies.


Travis Singleton is Senior Vice President of Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.





If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category: Recruiting Physicians
Posted by at 3/2/2017 12:09:30 PM
The Travel Ban and Foreign-born Physicians

Physicians and the Impact of the Travel Ban

Travel Ban and Foreign-born Physicians

There has been considerable speculation in the media lately regarding how the travel ban will affect foreign-born physicians, both from the seven nations affected and from other nations not currently on the list. Articles on this topic referencing Merritt Hawkins have appeared in the New York Times, U.S. New & World ReportForbes, and the Chicago Tribune.


Though the situation is still fluid and its impact on foreign-physicians hard to assess, it is apparent that the ban will have an immediate impact on a relatively small number of physicians. According to the Forbes article above, 260 medical graduates from the seven banned nations have applied for the 2017 resident Match, vying for some 27,860 positions. Given the current match rate for international medical graduates (IMGs), which hovers at slightly over 50%, approximately 130 of these applicants would be likely to match. A smaller number would then be likely to complete their residency programs and seek to practice in the U.S. The net number is therefore limited – probably around 100.


The larger question is what effect will the ban have on physicians from nations not on this list, who are likely to constitute a significant number of medical residents in 2017 and in subsequent years? The chart below showing 2016 matches for first-year residency positions offers some indication:

 

   2016 U.S. Residency Match – First Year Positions 

U.S. Allopathic Graduates…………18,187 

  Percent matched…………………….93.8% 

 U.S. Osteopathic Graduates……….2,982 

 Percent matched……………………….80.3% 

 U.S. Citizen IMGs…………………………5,323 

 Percent matched…………………………53.9% 

 Foreign-born IMGs…………………….7,460 

 Percent matched………………………50.5% 

 

 Source: National Resident Matching Program, March 18, 2016 

 

A combined 21,169 U.S. allopathic and osteopathic grads applied for the 2016 Match, leaving about 6,600 potential positions to be filled by IMGs (both U.S. citizen and foreign-born). U.S. citizen IMGs, who contributed about 2,800 medical graduates to the 2016 Match, are of course not affected by the ban. The same general numbers are likely for 2017. Foreign-born IMGs therefore represent a significant number of doctors in the pipeline (about 3,700 in the 2016 Match). They also represent a large number now in the workforce. Roughly one-quarter of in-practice physicians in the United States are foreign-born IMGs.


Should this source of physicians diminish as a direct or indirect result of the ban, it would have a significant impact on physician supply, reducing the number of FTEs during a time when the physician shortage is projected to grow. The issue is not confined to those medical graduates or physicians directly impacted by the ban. It extends to those from other countries, including non-Muslim majority countries, who may rethink their intention to train in the U.S. because of the ban. The situation therefore merits the close attention of those who track physician supply, demand and access issues. Merritt Hawkins recently completed a white paper on IMGs examining what is required for them to practice in the U.S., how many there are and related topics, which I would be happy to email to readers. In addition, I would be happy to hear from those who have insights into this topic and can be reached here.


Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare (NYSE: AMN).





If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category:
Posted by at 2/22/2017 7:52:25 AM
Is There an Ideal Physician-to-Population Ratio?

Physician-to-Population Factors and Variances

Physician to population ratio

Hospitals, medical groups, physicians and other healthcare organizations and professionals often express interest in physician-to-population ratios. Are there ratios that show how many physicians in various specialties are needed to serve a population of 100,000? The answer is yes, there are several. However, caution should be exercised when considering these ratios because when it comes to medical service areas, one size does not fit all. 


A comprehensive medical staff plan will include not just physician-to-population ratios but also a complete analysis of local demographics as well as a portrait of the existing medical staff.


With that proviso in mind, suggested physician-to-population ratios are worth considering because they at least provide a baseline for how many physicians in various specialties a service area may need, and the base line can later be refined with more data. Perhaps the most prominent physician-to-population ratios are the ones promulgated by the Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee (GMENAC). Other such ratios include the ones developed by researchers Hicks and Glenn and the consulting firm Solucient. However, all of these ratios, particularly GMENAC’s, which were released in 1980, are dated. 

 

The most recently developed ratios, and the ones Merritt Hawkins believes to be most pertinent, are those developed by the late noted physician supply and utilization expert Richard “Buz” Cooper, M.D. of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Cooper’s ratios are the most recent we are aware of and use a real world “demand-based” model to show how many physicians in various specialties a given service area may be able to support economically, rather than how many the area may theoretically need.


Below are some suggested physician-to-population ratios from three sources showing how the ratios may vary.

 

Suggested Physicians Per 100,000 Population 

 

                                           GMENAC                Solucient                  Cooper 

Family Medicine                    25.2                         22.5                         30.4

General Surgery                      9.7                          6.0                           7.9

 


The variances in these ratios illustrate why a more in-depth picture is needed when developing a medical staff plan to ensure the plan fits the characteristics of a particular service area. Those who would like Merritt Hawkins’ compendium of physician-to-population ratios are welcome to email me.


Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare (NYSE: AMN).





If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category: Recruiting Physicians
Posted by at 2/1/2017 10:43:45 AM
Innovative Solutions in Pediatric to Adult Care Transitions

Join Merritt Hawkins for the 2017 Transitional Care Conference

North Texas 2017 Transition Care Conference

We hope that you will join us on Thursday, February 16th for the North Texas 2017 Transition Care Conference where we will be examining Innovative Solutions in Pediatric to Adult Care Transitions.


Merritt Hawkins is proud to be a silver sponsor for this conference. Attendees can receive CME credit for attending this conference. Additionally, those who attend will be provided information that will help you:

 

  • Examine the necessity for improving care transitions from the different stakeholders’ perspectives 
  • Learn at least four models of care transition practices 
  • Discuss the need for care transition improvements in North Texas 
  • Identify care transitions resources available via GotTransition.org  
  • Describe how care transitions curriculum can be developed and implemented into healthcare professions education

 

The conference will take place on Thursday, February 16th at the UNT Health Science Center Medical Education and Training Building on 1000 Montgomery Street in Fort Worth, Texas. To register for the conference, click here


We look forward to seeing you there.





If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category:
Posted by at 1/25/2017 9:58:14 AM
The Must-Know Healthcare Recruitment Trends for 2017

Healthcare Recruitment Trends You Should Follow in 2017


The Must-Know Healthcare Recruitment Trends for 2017

In their annual report highlighting the key issues impacting healthcare in the upcoming year, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) pegs 2017 as “a year of uncertainty and opportunity”. Healthcare appears to be at a crossroads with the election of Donald Trump and the projected first performance year for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).


PwC notes that President-elect Trump has made repealing and replacing the ACA one of his top priorities, but most insurers will continue forward with the plans they have made involving MACRA. A cloud of uncertainty will remain until President-elect Trump gets into office and begins making plans for the future of healthcare in the United States.


But while the bureaucratic process sorts through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), state health insurance exchanges, and Medicaid, patients will continue to get sick, visit the hospital, and seek care from medical professionals. At the same time, healthcare facilities across the nation will be recruiting physicians to provide care for these patients. As we move into this year of uncertainty and opportunity, healthcare administrators must be prepared to adapt and innovate in the midst of a transforming healthcare system.


Following are some of the must-know healthcare recruitment trends for 2017:


Repeal and replace

Health organizations must be prepared for potential gains and losses of insured consumers due to modifications to the ACA.

Value-based care

The beginning of 2017 marks the first performance year for MACRA. Providing remedies for doctors drowning in data and minimizing the administrative burden on physicians will be vital.


Expanding technology use

The 21st century has introduced a wide variety of technological platforms into the healthcare industry. The coming year should not be any different with the advent of virtual reality, drones, 3D printing, and much more. Administrators must develop a strategic plan for coordination of technology use with physicians.

Aging physician workforce

A significant percent of physicians are at or near retirement age. Administrators need to be aware of any upcoming recruiting needs brought about by the retirement of their physicians.

Mental health in demand

In Merritt Hawkins 2016 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives, psychiatry ranked as the second most requested search assignment. Recruiting psychiatrists is likely to become increasingly difficult as more and more facilities look to fill their mental health needs.

As the healthcare industry evolves, administrators and clinicians must keep pace. Staying up to date with changes in value-based care, technology use, and government action will help healthcare facilities in their pursuit of being modern and consumer-oriented systems.





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Category:
Posted by at 1/19/2017 11:37:33 AM
Top 8 Healthcare Staffing Blogs of 2016

Top Healthcare Staffing Stories from 2016


Top 8 Blog from 2016

2016 was a year filled with changes within the healthcare industry. Here are the top 8 blogs from Merritt Hawkins for the year, which cover topics such as physician compensation, the business of medicine, and the relationship between poverty and healthcare.


2016 Survey of America's Physicians

One of the largest physician surveys ever completed in the United States, Survey of America’s Physicians: Practice Patterns and Perspectives reveals an evolving physician workforce whose practice styles and attitudes are changing.


All Aboard: Physician Onboarding in 2016

Onboarding is the one of the first key steps in retaining physicians.


How much revenue do physicians generate for hospitals?

How much revenue do physicians generate on behalf of their affiliated hospitals through admissions, tests, prescriptions and other activity? Merritt Hawkins tackles this question in this study.


The One Book on Healthcare You Must Read

When discussing what makes people in the United States healthy or unhealthy, most Americans would likely say diet, exercise, obesity, social indiscretions, or genetics, but not poverty. Yet, poverty plays a crucial role in healthcare access.


The Potential Dark Side of the Physician Employment Boom

While serving its purpose in an economically and regulatory market, will physician employment be a positive trend for medicine in the long run?


A Good Time To Reflect on the Growing Role of PAs

PAs are making it much easier for Americans to obtain timely access to care.


Medical Residents and the “Business” of Medicine

Medicine is part art, part science and, to an often unsettling degree, part business.


Merritt Hawkins' Releases New, 2016 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives

Merritt Hawkins’ Review is still the only data source in the market tracking physician and advanced practitioner starting salaries based on real-world recruiting assignments.





If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category:
Posted by at 1/10/2017 1:14:22 PM
Merritt Hawkins in The News in Q4

Physicians Survey on HHS Nomination, Salary Trends, and More


It is part of our ongoing mission to educate clients and candidates on the physician shortage and other employment and salary trends facing healthcare organizations across the nation. As part of this mission, Merritt Hawkins provides thought leadership and shared resources to the healthcare recruitment industry. In fact, our company has published or is cited in hundreds of articles appearing in a wide range of publications. The following are news articles from October 2016 - December 2016 referencing Merritt Hawkins.


 




If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category: Recruiting Physicians
Posted by at 1/3/2017 12:32:40 PM
Happy Holidays, Thank you for a great 2016!

Thanks for a great 2016!


Happy Holidays from Merritt Hawkins


Merritt Hawkins enjoyed a very busy and exciting 2016. In an industry that has been transforming significantly in recent years, with more changes on the horizon, we are grateful for the opportunity to have partnered with so many of you.


At the end of the day, our hope is that more patients can live healthier lives. We are grateful for the vital role that we play in helping clients reach their goals and provide patient care day in and day out.


With that in mind, we would like to thank you for partnering with us in 2016 and we hope that your 2017 is even better.


From the team at Merritt Hawkins, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season!




If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category:
Posted by at 12/28/2016 7:53:14 AM
Survey: How Physicians View HHS Secretary Nominee Dr. Tom Price

Physicians Weigh in on HHS Secretary Nominee


Physicians weigh in on Tom Price

By Tom Florence


If confirmed, president-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Tom Price, M.D., would be the first doctor to hold the position in over 20 years, and only the third in the 60-year history of HHS.


The American Medical Association (AMA) has endorsed the nomination of Dr. Price, but how do physicians feel?


Merritt Hawkins conducted an email survey of physicians on November 30 and December 1 to explore this question. Approximately 1,100 physicians responded to the survey, the results of which were the subject of several media articles, including one in MarketWatch (a feature of the Wall Street Journal) and one in HealthLeaders.


As these articles note, physicians are divided on Dr. Price. The plurality believe he will improve medical practice conditions for doctors, but the plurality also believe that, if confirmed, he would detract from the ability of patients to access quality care.


These are, of course, first impressions, and we will all have to wait on the confirmation process and what comes after to get a better sense of Dr. Price’s impact on the healthcare system.


In the meantime, I would be happy to email readers an infographic illustrating the results of this brief, three-question survey, and would also be interested in any initial thoughts readers may have about Dr. Price.

 




Tom Florence is Senior Vice President of Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached here.


If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category:
Posted by at 12/14/2016 12:55:28 PM
New Survey Reveals Physician Assistant Recruiting Trends

2016 Survey of PA Recruiting and Employment Trends


2016 Survey of PA Recruiting

By Phillip Miller


In 1991, there were approximately 20,000 physician assistants (PAs) licensed to practice in the United States. Today, there are over 108,000, according to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (www.aapa.org).


How many hospitals now employ PAs, how many are actively recruiting them, and how do they fit into the emerging model of team-based care?


Merritt Hawkins and the AAPA recently cooperated on a survey that provides answers to these and related questions. The 2016 Survey of PA Recruiting and Employment Trends includes responses from human resources personnel at 287 hospitals nationwide regarding their facilities’ use of PAs. Survey data suggest that 90% of hospitals currently employ PAs, while 60% are actively recruiting them. Among hospitals of 100 beds or more, 87% are actively recruiting PAs, according to the survey


More key findings from the survey are illustrated in this infographic.


The survey also features an examination of the trends driving the increased use of PAs, including the physician shortage, new value-based payment models, the adoption of population health management, and the growing use of integrated clinical teams.


PAs represent an important resource of patient care expertise and are playing an increasingly pivotal role in the implementation of emerging delivery models. I would be happy to provide readers who email me with a complete copy of the 28-page survey report and welcome any comments about the role PAs are playing in today’s evolving healthcare system.

 




Phillip Miller is Vice President of Communications for Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search and consulting firm and a company of AMN Healthcare (NYSE: AHS).


If you are interested in learning more about our advanced practice and physician staffing services, request an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.



Category:
Posted by at 12/14/2016 7:12:08 AM


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