Healthcare leaders have different ideas on what workforce optimization is and why it is essential to their healthcare system. Understanding contingent staffing needs, providing in-demand clinicians to your facilities, and knowing what is costing the healthcare system, can be overwhelming, especially in today's challenging and changing environment.
VISTA recently embarked on an engagement with a large multi-specialty medical and healthcare management group to discuss the challenges they were facing. These challenges included the following major areas: cost containment, transparency, compliance, and how to reduce the dependency on locum tenens.
Increasing productivity at a hospital is no small undertaking - especially given the current physician shortage impacting the healthcare industry. If there are too few clinicians available to treat patients, morale sinks, which negatively impacts productivity. But if the supply of clinicians exceeds demand, the resulting inefficiency can erode already-thin profit margins.
With the arrival of summer comes vacations and the need for staffing openings to be temporarily filled. Preparation for these openings will help smooth the transition for you and your staff.
Prepare for the Toughest Time of Year
Summer can be the toughest time of year for your private practice or facility. Vacations and time off are coveted during this time, which is great for providers who are afforded the opportunity to get away and relax with the family. But this can put pressure on your facility or medical practice and other staff members covering for providers during the absences. One choice is to lower the number of patients being seen. But this can significantly affect your bottom line. Consider the following remedies to beat your summertime staffing demand.
The growing physician shortage has a huge impact on healthcare staffing, creating challenges for medical facilities. More specifically, it’s making it difficult for them to recruit and retain quality physicians to provide proper care to patients.
According to a recent report from the Association of American Medical Colleges, one of the top factors contributing to the physician shortage and demand is a growing, aging population. Other factors include turnover in rural areas and physician burnout. As a result, many specialties are in high demand, including family medicine, internal medicine and radiology. This can affect staffing in a number of ways, but utilizing the services of locum tenens can help healthcare facilities alleviate its effects and maintain consistent staff coverage.
Misinformation continues to surround use of the Q6 modifier, or the billing for services provided by a locum tenens physician. This can result in mistakes that prove costly or even detrimental to practices, as they may result in audits or further disciplinary action.
The Q6 modifier is intended to be a tool that practices can use when a physician is away for an extended period of time, therefore requiring temporary coverage by a locum tenens. It covers Part B fees, or medical claims related to the professional service provided, which are billed using the existing physician’s NPI number and the Q6 modifier.
To prevent abuse, there are stringent rules in place surrounding the conditions for using this modifier. When it is used, the surrounding circumstances must be well-documented. Carefully review the details associated with when and how to use the Q6 modifier to ensure that you remain compliant.
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At VISTA we’re dedicated to being our clients’ strategic workforce optimization partner. With our deep industry expertise and exclusive locums MSP technology, we help health systems, hospitals, practices and government entities build and sustain effective workforce models that ensure patient access to care and organizational stability. Covering more than 60 specialties, we staff physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to help our clients preserve revenue and maintain profitability.