National Association of Physician Recruiters

 

 

For the first time in history, business leaders in the locum tenens industry (temporary physician staffing) have come together to form the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO), a professional association created to provide healthcare organizations with high standards of service and to represent the industry as a whole.

The organization was created under the umbrella of the National Alliance of Healthcare Recruiting Associations, which also includes the National Association of Physician Recruiters, and primarily serves to educate the healthcare industry on the benefits of locum tenens staffing and to establish a set of service standards among locum tenens companies. The association also provides a system for sharing resources among member organizations, offers a formal dispute resolution process through an arbitration committee, and aids all members in cultivating market growth.

While the NAPR exists primarily for physician recruiters who specialize in recruitment for permanent positions, NALTO was created to address the unique aspects of locum tenens placement and increase the level of service provided in this specific segment of the physician recruiting industry. NALTO members are held to a strict code of ethics similar to NAPR members, but a code that was developed specifically for the locum tenens industry. It is important for physicians and healthcare facilities to keep this in mind when selecting a company to provide locum tenens services.

Members of NALTO include business leaders from well-known companies that represent approximately 70% of the industry's revenue. The Steering Committee currently includes: Don DeCamp of CompHealth, Patrick Donovan of Linde Healthcare, Chuck Corbett of Davis-Smith, Greg Kurmadas of Whitaker Medical, and Jamey Morgan of Concorde Staff Source.

"The collective goal of our membership is to create a clear understanding of locum tenens throughout the healthcare industry and to develop a program that ensures a quality service experience for all those involved including physicians, healthcare organizations and patients," stated Don DeCamp, Chief Operating Officer at CompHealth and a founding member of the organization.

 

 

For more information about the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations, please contact the organization's headquarters at 407-774-7880, or e-mail rbpolhill@mindspring.com


What is Locum Tenens?
Taken from the Latin "to hold the place of, to substitute for" locum tenens means, in layman's terms, a temporary physician. In short, locum tenens physicians contract with a staffing company to perform medical services for a healthcare organization for a specified length of time. Physicians are paid by the staffing firm itself who is then paid by the healthcare facility; the client.

Locum tenens work benefits both physicians and hospitals/healthcare organizations. In using locum tenens, the staffing needs of healthcare facilities are met while physicians gain flexibility in their schedules and professional experience in multiple practice settings. The twenty plus-year old industry continues to grow as more and more physicians choose this way of practicing medicine and healthcare organizations continue to learn the value of locum tenens staffing.

Why do physicians choose to do Locum Tenens?
Physicians choose locum tenens work for a variety of reasons and at various points in their careers. For example, it is an especially appealing option for new physicians just out of residency training. It provides them with the opportunity to sample different practices and areas of the country before making a long-term commitment in any one spot. While medical schools and residency programs teach the art of practicing medicine, new physicians frequently emerge from training without knowing just what style of practice will suit them best. In fact, research has shown that an alarming number of new physicians are unhappy with their first practice setting. With locum tenens, there's no pressure to hurry and decide anything permanent. And there are no immediate financial burdens such as "buying in" to a practice or permanently locating to the wrong place. You can even use a locum tenens assignment to try out a specific practice opportunity before making a permanent commitment.

Locum tenens is also the choice of many seasoned physicians who are not ready to retire, but want to scale down the rigors and administrative hassles of full-time practice. These physicians enjoy the chance to keep more reasonable hours and combine work with travel and time spent with family and friends.

Still, other physicians choose locum tenens work in mid-career as a way to find the right position in a new area, or while they are in professional transition, such as from military to civilian practice or while in the process of starting their own business.

Why do clients use Locum Tenens physicians?
Clients requesting locum tenens coverage range from rural solo physician practices to the country's major health systems and managed care organizations. These clients have found that supplemental healthcare professionals are needed for a variety of reasons: to fill in for an absent staff member (who may be ill, on vacation, on maternity leave or sabbatical), to cover while physicians attend CME courses, to supplement regular staff during busy times, or to staff new facilities while permanent providers are recruited. Many healthcare facilities across the country use locum tenens as an integral part of their master staffing plan. In many cases it is cheaper and more efficient to staff at a minimum level and use locum tenens to supplement the permanent staff, rather than always trying to staff at the maximum level and having many periods of time when the staff is not fully utilized.

What should I look for in a Locum Tenens company?
When choosing a staffing company, physicians and clients should look for the same qualities in a firm. From the staffing firm's perspective, the industry is a two way street, meaning that both physicians and clients must be provided with the services they need in order for the company to succeed. To help you evaluate different firms and choose one that you can feel comfortable working with, here are some guidelines to follow:

 

 

  • Is the company a member of the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO)? NALTO is a newly established organization dedicated to establishing a set of service standards among locum tenens companies and educating the healthcare industry on the benefits of locum tenens staffing. Like the NAPR, the members of NALTO are held to a strict code of ethics. You can be sure that companies belonging to NALTO are following the highest standards and provide quality services.
  • Is the company also a member of the National Association of Physician Recruiters (NAPR)? The NAPR was established to enhance and develop the profession of physician recruiting. All members are held to a strict code of ethics that determine professional standards in the industry.
  • Does the company provide malpractice insurance for the physicians they place; are they concerned with whether the client has coverage?
  • What is the company's payroll history; do they have the financial resources to pay their physicians regularly?
  • Does the company offer the services necessary to ensure all details are taken care of when the physician arrives to work, i.e., licensing, credentialing, hospital privileges, proper physician travel and housing arrangements?

In addition to these guidelines, the firm you choose should place a high priority on quality service. This means: a professional staff to provide with you personal attention; comprehensive service offerings such as payroll, travel and housing departments; qualified physicians who meet strict credentialing standards; and most importantly, enough assignments for doctors to choose from and enough doctors for clients to choose from.

How much will I make as a Locum Tenens physician?
As with permanent positions, there is a great deal of variance in compensation based on the specific medical specialty as well as the location of each job. Most locum tenens companies pay their physicians a daily or hourly rate for time worked, as well as covering travel and housing expenses, malpractice insurance and licensing costs. The real benefit to locum tenens work is that you get to travel, have flexibility regarding when and where you work, and earn a fair wage. To find out more contact either a NALTO or NAPR member firm that provides locum tenens staffing.

How do I get started?
It couldn't be easier! Click on the link in the left navigator for a list of locum tenens staffing firms that are members of the NALTO or the NAPR. You can visit their web sites or contact them directly to find out more about the specific assignments and programs that they have to offer. Once you have chosen a company to work with you will provide them with credentialing information, discuss assignments, and then be on your way to the exciting lifestyle of a locum tenens physician!

Top Of Page

 

 

 

Find Us On:
Join us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow us on LinkedIn!