A hospital I work with in Texas recently needed extensive, long-term physician coverage in its gastroenterology department. They had a staffing shortage, but their patients needed their services, so the hospital did what they had to do—and spent over $2 million in the process.
Worse, when I looked at the billing results for the patients these locums providers treated, I saw that the patient visits had mostly generated bills that were out of network, and thus written off.
It’s not just the hospitals that are harmed by these sorts of billing results, though the missed revenue hurts. Patients are harmed, too. I can speak from experience: a few years ago, I got a ding on my credit report from a “surprise,” out-of-network medical bill. We’ve all dealt with this.
We hear stories like the Texas gastroenterologists’ all the time. It’s been happening daily in our industry since its inception. It’s a complex problem that no one person can solve, but there are solutions. Vendor agencies, hospitals, physicians, and LocumsMart all have a role to play in making things better.
If you work for a hospital system and would like to evaluate and improve the billing results of your locum tenens providers, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 678-495-7181.