Recruiter’s Commitment Leads to Win-Win Physician Placement

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It is no secret that the competition for recruiting physicians is incredibly fierce, and the demand shows no signs of letting up anytime soon.  For a physician recruitment professional, like Senior Search Consultant Don Evans, there is a lot of work that goes into a successful placement that most people don’t know about.  In many instances, developing a genuine relationship with the physicians is the key to creating a “win-win” situation for all involved.  This was the case in a recent successful placement for Don and Dr. Joe.

With three of their physicians retiring in the near future, clinic leadership knew they needed a partner to help them fill their upcoming vacancy. As is so often the case, the rural location in South Dakota was going to be a challenge, but the clinic had many positive aspects to balance out that equation. It has been in operation for 85 years and has successfully established an on-site pharmacy, labs and imaging facilities, and very efficient processes for scribing and medical records.  All of this means the physicians can spend more time with the patient.

During the process of recruiting for the clinic, a fellow Jackson Physician Search recruiter forwarded Don the contact information for a family medicine physician whose practice of 15 years had been bought out by a large health system. He was located in the state of Washington and had recently begun testing the waters to see if other opportunities were available.  Don established contact with Dr. Joe, and the two quickly established an important rapport.  Dr. Joe can be described as a “Doctor’s Doctor.”  He puts patient care above all else and was resistant to the time constraints and other changes that were implemented by the health system. The bureaucracy and inefficiencies in the medical records systems were adding hours to his already long days.

Don and Dr. Joe spent a lot of time on the phone talking about life and family, and what that might look like in a new setting should Dr. Joe find the right opportunity. Currently, work was consuming all of Dr. Joe’s life, and he barely had time to see his family and never had time for hobbies or personal activities. Together, through many hours of communication at all hours and even on weekends, they began crafting a plan of what the right opportunity would look like.

Eventually, Don realized that the clinic in South Dakota would provide Dr. Joe with everything he was looking for, both personally and professionally.  Dr. Joe was hesitant because he was unsure about making such a major move from the state of Washington to South Dakota. During one of their frequent calls, Don asked Joe when the last time was that he had sat down with his family and had a meal together.  After a long silence, Dr. Joe realized it had been three years.  He then agreed to at least make a site visit and hear what the clinic leadership had to say.

The clinic administrator knew that their location was always going to be a hurdle that they had to overcome when recruiting physicians to work there.  He made sure that the entire staff was onboard and prepared to make an invaluable first impression on Dr. Joe.  During the visit, Dr. Joe met with the other physicians, most of which are partners in the practice, and they even went out on a hunting expedition. A hobby that Dr. Joe never has time for in his current situation.

The visit was highly successful, but Dr. Joe still had trepidation. He was worried that his family would not be happy in such a small community.  After a few more weeks, Dr. Joe’s family was able to make a site visit, and as fate would have it, his wife fell in love with the family-friendly community and also learned that a childhood friend lives an hour away in Sioux Falls.  From that point on, she played an integral role in convincing Dr. Joe that the move would be the best thing for their entire family. Another important factor in Dr. Joe eventually agreeing to accept the offer was the level of trust and the friendship that developed between himself and Don. Because they built up that bond through all of their conversations, Dr. Joe felt comfortable listening to Don’s insight and trusted his expertise while making a life-changing decision for him and his family.

The result was a win-win for the physician and the clinic. Dr. Joe got the work/life balance he wanted and the clinic got a physician that is dedicated to outstanding patient care.

If you are ready to make a change in your physician career, trust the experts at Jackson Physician Search.  Our recruitment professionals take the time to learn and understand what is important for you, your family, and your career.  Contact us today.

Rural Community Parade Placement Story

Welcomed With a Parade

It is undeniable that physicians practicing in small rural communities are a renowned and respected member of the community.

Physician Recruiters Help You Change Jobs

Working With a Recruiter to Make a Change

Based in Boise, Dr. M. had been traveling all over Idaho and other western states as the Medical Director for a correctional facility conglomerate.

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Welcomed With a Parade

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It is undeniable that physicians practicing in small rural communities are a renowned and respected member of the community.  Typically, when a doctor is hired to fill an opening at the local health center, it is a big deal, and word travels around town at the speed of light.  What doesn’t happen very often is that the physician is introduced to the community via parade!  That was recently the case in a small, rural western Oklahoma community of 1,500 people.

Dane Altman, Senior Vice President, Business Development for Jackson Physician Search was born in a small rural community in Oklahoma.  When the Medical Director/Physician working at the local 24-bed critical access hospital was planning to retire, Jackson Physician Search received the contract to find his replacement. Dan Rixon, a JPS recruitment professional, began the search by visiting the community and meeting with facility leadership to develop a picture of the town and also the position he was tasked with recruiting.  In setting expectations with the client, he made it clear that it might take some time to find the right physician who would be willing to relocate to such a small community.  To keep things light, he informed the team that if he were to find the right physician before April 20th, he would participate in the town’s 50th Annual Cow Chip Throwing Tournament to be held at the county fair.

As is often the case, the search to find an experienced general practice physician who was willing to relocate to a small community was challenging.  After four months, with little luck, everything changed.  Dan was holding an online career fair when he was contacted by a physician, Dr. M., currently practicing in Florida.  Dr. M. was unhappy in his current position and was looking for a new opportunity.  As luck would have it, Dr. M. had family in the Dallas area, only a six-hour drive from the rural opportunity.

Dan coordinated a meeting between the leadership team at the hospital and Dr. M., and it was clear early on that this would be a very good fit. Dr. M. was looking for a position where he would be valued and treated with respect and also where he could be laser-focused on his career. As the new Medical Director, he would have that opportunity.  Dr. M. was very excited about the opportunity to practice at the small hospital, manage the team of Nurse Practitioners, and also rotate through two other community health centers that were in neighboring areas.  Within a month, everything came together, and Dr. M. accepted his offer.

This brings us to the World Championship Cow Chip Throwing competition. Both Dan and Dane attended the fair, and as promised participated in the tournament along with Dr. M.!  Later, the local community gave their new physician the warmest of welcomes as he was introduced while riding in the festival parade.

Not every new small town physician will ride down Main Street in the back of a convertible waving to the crowd, but that feeling of being a valued and a respected member of the community is not uncommon.  Small communities across the country have openings for physicians, and most if not all will make the community experience a highlight of the recruiting process.  Community leaders are never shy about being invested in partnering with the town’s medical providers, and they typically play a role at some point during recruitment.  This type of access to community influencers should not be discounted when on a site visit.  There is much to learn from them about how their small, tight-knit community can offer a tangible change of pace from larger urban settings.  Cost of living, quality of life, culture, and fit are all part of the consideration when looking at opportunities in rural America. Not every community can boast about their world champion cow chip tossers, but many of these opportunities offer more work/life balance, a slower pace, less noise and bustle, and a true appreciation for the work.

If you are looking for a new opportunity, whether you are willing to consider rural America like Dr. M., or you want a position in a larger urban setting, Jackson Physician Search has openings for you to consider.  Contact one of our physician recruitment professionals and get started today.

 

Physician Recruiters Help You Change Jobs

Working With a Recruiter to Make a Change

Based in Boise, Dr. M. had been traveling all over Idaho and other western states as the Medical Director for a correctional facility…

Finding Physician Opportunities

Finding Non-traditional Physician Opportunities with the Help of a Recruiter

In today’s hot physician job market, many physicians assume that when the time comes for a job search, it will seem like catching fish in a…

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Leverage Physician Compensation Survey Data to Improve Your Recruitment Results

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Every year there are a variety of physician compensation surveys published, each with varying degrees of detail and context. The charts and tables they contain deliver a wealth of information. To understand how each report defines compensation and the larger trends driving it, you need to read between the lines.

Here is our overview of the recently published surveys to get you started.

Modern Healthcare Physician Compensation Survey

This leading media source publishes a round-up of compensation data for 23 specialties as reported by 12 organizations, from recruitment and consulting firms to industry associations. The three-page survey reports average starting salaries, rather than average incomes. Salary and bonuses are included, but insurance, stock options, and benefits are not. Data points include:

  • Average cash compensation for that specialty
  • Percentage change between the current and previous year

Key Takeaways:

  • Physician pay increases appear to be slowing, possibly due to the rise in hospital employment, where salary (vs. bonuses) make up most of compensation for physicians.
  • Although primary care specialties are among the lowest paid, they scored the highest average starting pay increases.
  • Emergency, internal, family, and hospital medicine physicians saw average year-to-year pay increases of more than 3%.

MGMA DataDive Provider Compensation Data

The Medical Group Management Association gathers W-2 data directly from practice managers at over 5,800 organizations nationwide, providing a dataset of approximately 136,000 providers. Their data offers a complete picture of over 140 physician specialties based upon practice size, region, metropolitan statistical area and more. Benchmarks include:

  • Compensation – Including total pay, bonus/incentives, retirement and more
  • Productivity – Work RVUs, total RVUs, professional collections and charges
  • Benefit Metrics – Hours worked per week/year and weeks of vacation

Key Takeaways:

  • Primary care physician compensation increased by more than 10% over the past five years.
  • Depending on specialty, the difference in compensation between states can be in the range of $100,000 to $270,000.
  • Family medicine physicians saw a 12% rise in total compensation over the past five years, while their median number of work relative value units (wRVUs) remained flat. This reflects higher signing bonuses, continuing medical education stipends, relocation reimbursement and other cash incentives to attract and retain physicians.

AMGA Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey

The American Medical Group Association survey represents more than 105,000 clinical providers. Participants are primarily large multispecialty medical groups and integrated health systems. The average number of providers per participant group was approximately 380. Data includes:

  • Compensation
  • Net collections
  • Work RVUs
  • Compensation-to-productivity ratios

Key Takeaways:

  • Although compensation per relative value unit (work RVU) was higher than average, 2017 was the first-year physician compensation increased by less than 2% in over a decade.
  • Compensation increased only +0.89%.
  • The national median showed a decline in physician productivity by a weighted average of -1.63%, possibly related to growing administrative burdens on providers.

Doximity Physician Compensation Report

Doximity is known as the largest medical social network in the country – with over 70% of US doctors as verified members. Their report draws on the responses of more than 65,000 licensed U.S. doctors in 40 medical specialties. Physicians who are verified Doximity users can access an interactive salary map to drill down on compensation data combined with housing cost insights.

Their public report focuses on year-over-year trends in:

  • Physician compensation across Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)
  • The gap in pay between male and female physicians
  • Absolute physician compensation across specialty, state, region, and gender

Key Takeaways:

  • There was a 4% increase in physician compensation nationally.
  • Less populated MSAs tend to have higher average compensation compared to larger cities.
  • The presence of large medical schools in an area ensures a stronger pipeline of doctors competing for a relatively fixed number of positions, which causes a dampening effect on compensation.

Medscape Physicians Compensation Report

Medscape is one of the most popular sources for physicians who use the report to access high-level salary trends and gauge how their peers feel about the challenges and rewards of practicing medicine. More than 20,000 physicians in 29 specialties responded to the online survey, and the results were weighted to the American Medical Association’s physician distribution by specialty. Information reported:

  • Annual Compensation by Specialty
  • Year-to-year Trends
  • Regional Averages

Key Takeaways:

  • Employed physicians comprised 69% of the respondent group versus 26% who are self-employed, with 5% not reporting.
  • Demand for specialists to help address behavioral health issues and the opioid crisis surged, highlighted by a year-to-year increase in psychiatry and physical medicine/rehabilitation.
  • Physicians cited altruistic reasons as the top three most rewarding parts of their job, with “making good money at a job I like” ranking fourth.

To learn more about the various compensation surveys and tools available, contact the industry experts at Jackson Physician Search today.

Close Recruitment Gaps

How to Close Physician Recruitment Gaps and Improve ROI in 2019

The time to invest in the implementation of key best practices to improve your hiring process and create success in the recruitment process is now. 

Physician’s Contribution

What is the ‘Physician’s Contribution’ Really Worth?

Simply put, the physician’s contribution relates to the typical inpatient and outpatient revenues, referral revenues, and other incomes not directly related to patient care.

 

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Quick Look: Physician Retention Tips

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Each year, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) updates their report outlining projected Physician Supply and Demand for the United States.  The most recent report is projecting physician deficits between 42,600 and 121,300 by the year 2030.  As in years past, primary care physicians represent the largest shortfall with estimates as high as 49,300.  Surgical specialists are not far behind with a projected shortage of up to 30,500.

If nothing else, these projected physician shortages highlight the importance for healthcare administrators to ensure that their organizations are utilizing best practices in their physician recruitment and retention policies.  In today’s highly competitive physician recruitment environment, the best way to ensure that your organization avoids lengthy physician vacancies is to minimize turnover.

Here is an overview of eight retention strategies that every healthcare organization should be practicing now.

  1. Focus on Making Good Hires – One of the best ways to give your organization a better chance at retaining the physicians you have on staff is to make sure you are hiring for fit and not hiring to fill. Ensuring that your recruitment process targets individuals that are already aligned with your organizational values gives you the best opportunity to keep them engaged and not seeking greener pastures.
  2. Develop a Culture that Feeds Retention – By now, you should be well aware of the role that organizational culture plays in physician retention. Poor work environments and dysfunctional communication is the surest way to alienate the physicians you have on staff and will lead to a revolving door of vacancies.
  3. Help Your Physicians Stay Engaged – In any work environment, when staff is engaged they exhibit more loyalty to the organization, they are better at working through issues, and consistently put forth greater effort than employees who are not engaged. According to Gallup, fully engaged physicians generate more outpatient referrals and a whopping 51% more inpatient referrals than non-engaged physicians.
  4. Provide Personal Growth Opportunities – According to Medscape’s 2018 National Physician Burnout & Depression Report, 42% of physicians reporting feeling burned out while 15% admitted feeling varying levels of depression. Keep your physicians engaged by encouraging them to pursue the things they are passionate about.
  5. Allow for Career Advancement Opportunities – The Physicians on your staff have spent many years of schooling to reach their current position, and it is a mistake to think that they are now on cruise control. Collaborating on a plan that affords them the flexibility to pursue their career goals will benefit your organization and ultimately make them better doctors.
  6. Promote Work/Life Balance – Physician burnout is dominating the headlines on medical news outlets, and it is reasonable to assume your physicians are experiencing those same issues. It is critical for administrators to engage their physician staff to develop solutions. The Mayo Clinic developed a model to reduce burnout called the “Listen-Act-Develop” approach.
  7. Compensation – According to Kresser Institute, forty percent of medical school graduates finish with more than $200,000 in student loan debt. Organizations cannot ignore this intrinsic pressure on their physician staff and should explore creative ways to ensure that financial pressures are not contributing to physician burnout.
  8. Encourage Time Off/Family Time – When physicians are asked directly about what would help them the most in dealing with workplace pressures, most will respond that they need more time off and more manageable call schedules. A healthy family life can be a physician’s best defense against burnout and depression, and a supportive administration can help foster physician well-being.

As the physician shortage continues to impact healthcare organizations across the U.S., retaining the physicians you have on staff is going to be increasingly more critical to keeping up with the projected demand.  The question for healthcare executives is whether or not to spend the time, effort, and money on developing a successful retention program or on a continuous cycle of recruitment and hiring to fill avoidable physician vacancies.

Working With a Recruiter to Make a Change

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Based in Boise, Dr. M. had been traveling all over Idaho and other western states as the Medical Director for a correctional facility conglomerate.  The hours and the travel were taking a toll, and on top of that, Dr. M. and his wife had a newborn at home.  He saw the posting for a rural medical center position and knew he had to pursue the opportunity.

As is often the case with many small rural communities, the magic of living there is completely unknown unless you have visited or passed through at some point.  This was true for a small town of 990 people in rural Idaho, located near the “Craters of the Moon” National Monument and about 3 hours outside of Boise. The town, most noted for being the first in America to be lit by atomic energy is also famous because esteemed writer Ernest Hemingway occasionally brought his friends here to go hunting and fly fishing.

The people in this friendly town have their medical needs served by a single community medical center which also provides care to several surrounding towns. When their current Chief of Medical Staff decided to leave, it became a bit of concern for the entire community. After all, he was the only full-time Family Practice physician at the facility with other family practice doctors out of Boise rotating through part-time.

Jackson Physician Search recruiter Becky Casias knew that she had to find the right physician who could take over as Chief of Medical Staff and manage the Nurse Practitioners and the few specialty physicians that were practicing in the medical center.  In the job posting that she put out, Becky highlighted all of the benefits of living in the charming community.

As fate would have it, Dr. M. knew all about this quaint town and had visited there with a longtime friend who lived within a short drive in a nearby town. They had taken trips to hunt and fish in Mackay, a community of 700 that was also served by the medical center.  Dr. M., a military veteran and pilot, came with a wide range of experiences including Flight surgeon. Becky and Dr. M. agreed that they should move forward with the process.

Once that decision was made, things happened rather quickly. Dr. M’s contract with the prison system was up for renewal, so he didn’t have any entanglements to delay his pursuing the new opportunity.  Dr. M. met with the CEO of the medical center, the staff, and several community leaders.  From the beginning, it was very apparent that Dr. M. was the perfect fit for both the hospital and the community.

Jackson Physician Search has dozens of similar opportunities in both large and small communities across the United States.  Let our team of recruitment professionals guide you to the perfect fit for your career and for your family.  Reach out today to secure your tomorrow.

Finding Physician Opportunities

Finding Non-traditional Physician Opportunities with the Help of a Recruiter

In today’s hot physician job market, many physicians assume that when the time comes for a job search, it will seem like catching fish in a barrel.  While partly true because the demand far exceeds the supply of available physicians, many doctors are missing out on opportunities that only a recruiter can help them find.

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

Different physician employment models can have a significant impact on how a physician is compensated. If you’re like the 69% of physicians that are employed, then your compensation formula can look much different than a self-employed…

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Physicians and Mental Health Access in the United States

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According to the Journal of American Medical Association, nearly 1 in 5 people in the U.S. are afflicted with some form of mental health condition.  If this trend isn’t concerning enough, the Health Resources and Services Administration reported in 2016 that the supply of select behavioral health professionals is 250,000 short of what the nation’s demand will be by the year 2025.  Not surprisingly, as the situation worsens over time, primary care physicians will have to shoulder the burden.

Long waiting lists for mental health services are nothing new in many communities across the U.S., and the unfortunate aspect is that many of these patients are giving up on treatment rather than waiting.

“I often have a patient who clearly needs to see a psychiatrist, but is unable to get an appointment for another six months!” -Dr. G., New Jersey

In other instances where mental health access is available, insurance plans with notoriously low coverage options are making it difficult for patients to get the coverage they need.

One positive development, although it is also contributing to the demand for mental health services exceeding supply, is that awareness efforts nationwide are lessening the social stigmas attached to mental health issues.  Further, the clear relationship between mental health and physical health are changing both attitudes and approaches to healthcare delivery in clinics and practices nationwide.

One model in practice, referred to as SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment), originated through a 2009 North Carolina Medical Journal paper.1 Research from that paper identified that approximately 70% of all primary care visits could be attributed to behavioral or mental health issues.  If nothing else, these staggering numbers clearly demonstrate the need for additional mental health services training in the primary care setting, but also the necessary linkage to mental health providers and services.

A 2016 Ohio State University College of Medicine study 2 concluded that while mental health screenings are important in primary care settings, additional training and education for providers on mental health issues and medications is critical.  Additionally, providers need to be more cognizant of the community mental and behavioral health services that are available and to ensure they are maintaining those relationships to key services for their patients.

“Innovative ways of creating access to mental health services include telepsychiatry, where the psychiatric resource is brought to the patient, rather than the other way around.” -Dr. H., Wisconsin

In many rural communities, the availability of mental health services is often a multiple hour drive away.  In these circumstances, providers are relying on technology to create accessibility to services. The utilization of telemedicine technology provides a platform for mental health care providers to evaluate, treat, and manage medications for their patient at a distance. Integrating that care in consult with the primary care physician or family practitioner allows them to work together and achieve better results.

As with every challenge that ultimately crops up within the healthcare industry, the solutions require multi-faceted approaches that are supported from the federal level on down through the state and local level. In many cases, the best solutions will originate at the local level and work up as opposed to down from the federal government.  At the federal level, legislators need to create more incentives for healthcare professionals to follow a mental health services tract, insurance companies must reinforce their subscriber’s ability to seek treatment by providing the coverage necessary and also to reimburse at appropriate levels. Locally, community leaders, physicians, and educators need to foster the linkage between physical care providers and mental health providers ensuring that those individuals that need treatment are referred consistently to the appropriate entity where they can receive the help they need.

 

1 Collins, Chris, North Carolina Medical Journal, “Integrating Behavioral and Mental Health Services into the Primary Care Setting”, 2009.
2 Murray, Kelsey, Ohio State University College of Medicine, “A Survey of Mental Health Needs in a Primary Care Setting”, 2016

 

reducing paper to help combat physician burnout

Reducing Paperwork to Help Combat Physician Burnout

In January, Medscape released the results of their 2019 National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report.  This comprehensive report collected information from 15,000 physicians in 29 different…

Physician Bonuses and Benefits

Understanding Physician Bonuses and Benefits

Physician salaries continue to rise, although more modestly than in years past. You may find that hard to believe considering the 24-7 handwringing over…

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Mental Health Access: By the Numbers

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The well-discussed physician shortage is affecting healthcare across the country and across specialties.  But, when it comes to mental health professionals, the numbers look even worse.  For context, the Health Resources and Services Administration states that 55.3 million Americans live in a federally designated primary care shortage area, while an astonishing 89.3 million live in a similarly designated mental health professional shortage area.  Those numbers, worrisome enough on their own, are even more concerning when you consider rural areas. Even though urban clinics often have long waiting lists for mental health providers, rural clinics often have no mental health provider at all.

According to Mental Health America, although there has been a slight decrease in the number of adults who have a mental health condition from 2015 to today, there are still 44 million adults suffering from a mental health condition.  Conversely, the number of youth experiencing a mental health condition has increased in the past four years.  Data shows that 3.1 million youth (ages 12 – 17) have suffered from at least one major depressive event in the past year, and another 1.1 million are suffering from a substance use disorder. Nationally, only 25% of youth with severe depression receive some form of consistent treatment. Barriers to youth treatment include late recognition in primary care settings and limited coverage of mental health services.

Improving Access to Mental Health Care Services

More than half of those who experience some form of mental illness in a year do not, or in many cases cannot get treatment.  Clearly, whether it is a lack of providers, insurance, or general confusion about how to get the necessary treatment, far too many individuals are not getting the help they need. Here are a few initiatives that may help improve access to mental health care services.

  1. Primary Care Integration – Even in underserved communities, most individuals have access to a primary care physician. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is supportive of building up capacity for mental health care through additional screening in the primary care setting and flagging patients who need further evaluation by a mental health provider. Many primary care offices are filling the gap with Physician Assistants with mental health specialization. Known as ‘Collaborative Care,’ having access to these front-line providers means additional screening, the implementation of initial treatment plans, and the ability to perform consultation and referral services when necessary.
  2. Technology – Never to be mistaken for replacing a practitioner, new technologies can be used to expand the reach of existing mental health providers. Video conferencing is being used to overcome the lack of access in underserved communities. Another effective use of technology is the utilization of software-based cognitive behavioral therapy where trial results are demonstrating it as a promising option to in-person therapy.
  3. Legislative Initiatives – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are encouraging states to create innovative payment methodologies for telemedicine. Evidence exists that shows telemedicine not being reimbursed or reimbursed at a lower level which discourages mental health providers from expanding their services through telemedicine technology. Other legislative opportunities include revising licensure requirements allowing mental health providers to provide services, including telemedicine services, across state lines. Eighteen states have adopted the Federation of State Medical Boards’ compact which expedites licensure for out of state physicians, including psychiatrists. Similar multistate compacts for other mental health professionals are in the early stages of development.

The results of 37 randomized studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), confirmed that collaborative care is effective in improving short-term outcomes and includes evidence of longer-term benefits.  The collaborative care interventions that were included in the JAMA study included a wide range of approaches from face-to-face evaluations to telephone interviews to video conferencing.

Healthcare administrators faced with making critical decisions in providing a broad spectrum of care in the most cost-effective manner will continue considering whether a collaborative care model is appropriate for their system. Data highlighted in an article published by the National Institutes of Health showed that 69% of patients with depression only present physical ailments during their primary care visit. Another study concluded that the higher the number of physical symptoms reported the greater the likelihood of the patient having an underlying mood disorder.

Above all else, mental health care systems are going to continue changing in the face of expanding mental health needs. The opioid crisis is stretching addiction treatment providers to the limit while growing depression and anxiety disorders in our nation’s youth are forcing care systems to develop innovative ways to improve access and reduce the stigmas of mental health care. Currently, there is no consensus on the most effective configuration for a collaborative care approach to meet the mental health needs of a community. In many cases, where it is fiscally viable, additional psychiatric staff in tandem with primary care providers may be the appropriate answer, while in other situations, integrating technologies may be an effective way to expand mental health access.

Rural Primary Care Physician

How Smart Recruitment Helped An FQHC Expand Services

The state of Healthcare for FQHCs and Rural Communities According to data published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the U.S. will have a projected shortage of physicians that…

Digital Recruitment Strategy

A Digital Recruitment Strategy Can Solve Your Physician Recruitment Challenges

This is the first article in a two-part series on developing an effective digital recruitment strategy. Is your organization finding it harder to recruit physicians to fill your vacancies?  Is the physician shortage…

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Reducing Paperwork to Help Combat Physician Burnout

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In January, Medscape released the results of their 2019 National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report.  This comprehensive report collected information from 15,000 physicians in 29 different specialties.  While 44% of physician respondents reported feeling burned out, and another 15% reported being colloquially or clinically depressed, the driver behind these responses may surprise you. Almost 60% of respondents reported that they are burdened by too many bureaucratic tasks like charting and paperwork.  The next closest factor as identified in the survey was spending too many hours at work which came in at 34%.

Clearly, if physicians are telling us that working too many hours is contributing to their feelings of burnout, imagine how frustrating it would be to know that paperwork and bureaucracy is one of the leading reasons for your long work days. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine determined that for every hour a doctor is treating patients, they are spending two hours on paperwork! Burdensome clerical activity is even creeping into the time physicians are examining their patients as the study found that almost 37% of the face-to-face patient time is spent on electronic health records (EHR) and other clerical work.

Ways to reduce administrative burdens

If the results of these studies sound all too familiar, here are several ways you can alleviate some of that workload and free up more time to spend on patient care.

Get Involved – Believe it or not, health care industry leaders and federal agencies all realize that change is needed to allow physicians to spend more time focused on their patient and less on recordkeeping. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is initiating changes to reduce the administrative burden on Physicians as part of its comprehensive “Patients over Paperwork” initiative. Physicians that have identified confusing and/or time consuming documentation are encouraged to report them to ReducingProviderBurden@cms.hhs.gov.

Share the Burden – Physicians at UCLA Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are reducing the amount of time they spend on documentation through new virtual note-taking technology, Our Notes. Developed by OpenNotes, the concept promotes having the patients participate in the note-taking process in collaboration with the physician.  Research has shown that involving the patient in documenting the visit leads to increased patient engagement and improved communication between the physician and the patient.

Smart Glasses – Another exciting tech development that healthcare organizations are piloting involves Google’s Smart Glasses.  Recently relaunched, the Smart Glasses are set up to link with proprietary software, like Augmedix, a remote scribe service that records all of the clinical notes for the physician.  Clinicians who are using this technology report that the device is shaving as much as 30% from their administrative time which can be used for additional patients or improving their quality of life.

Whether through regulatory changes, technology, or even hiring additional support staff, like Medical Assistants, healthcare industry leaders realize that changes need to be made to support physicians.  More doctors are feeling the effects of burnout and reducing the amount of time they are spending on documentation and bureaucracy is one way to help them manage their work-related pressures.

If you are ready to explore new career opportunities or find an organization that is a better fit for you personally and professionally, contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional today.  Our team has decades of industry experience and a nationwide reach to find you the best fit for the next step in your career.

 

Physicians Can Improve Their Job Satisfaction

Five Ways Physicians Can Improve Their Job Satisfaction

Is your career as a physician becoming less satisfying?  Ranked as one of the most trusted professions, some doctors today are not feeling the…

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

What You Should Know About Physician Compensation

Physician salaries are increasing at a slower pace. According to the AMGA, 2017 was the first year that physician compensation increased by less than 2% in…

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Why Relationships and Workplace Culture Matter to Physicians

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Much has been written about the rising prevalence of burnout among today’s physicians, with estimates approaching up to 70% feeling the effects.  Unfortunately, when approaches on how to improve physician wellness and reduce burnout are addressed, they are usually centered upon self-care, practicing mindfulness, self-awareness and other strategies that place much of the burden on the physician themselves.  Organizations and administrators who are placing the burnout burden right back on the shoulders of their own physicians are losing sight of a much larger issue.

Physician wellness is directly impacted by workplace culture.  That is not to discount other underlying factors, including work hours, patient loads, and administrative burdens, lack of autonomy, excessive bureaucracy, and other frustrations.  What hospital administrators and executives might be overlooking is the fact that one of the top reasons physicians leave a job is a lack of cultural fit and not compensation.  Gallup reported a direct link between staff understanding an organization’s purpose and culture and the achievement of quality healthcare.

Physicians, like most people who have spent their life building a career, want a sense of fulfillment and personal accomplishment.  And, to achieve that holistically, it needs to encompass more than the patient-facing aspect of their professional life.  When they, like any employee, feels engaged in their work for an organization that espouses values similar to their own, they are happier and less likely to suffer from negative stressors.  A recent Mayo Clinic White Paper on Executive Leadership and Physician Well-being outlined nine strategies to promote physician engagement and reduce burnout.  Among the findings included organizational leaders having to acknowledge that there is a problem.  A Jackson Physician Search survey showed that administrators believe their physicians are much more in alignment with the organization than the physicians are in reality.  One consideration in finding out if there is a gap between belief and reality is through improved communication with staff at all levels.  Others rely on annual surveys to get the feedback they need to take appropriate actions.

Another strategy identified by the Mayo Clinic paper recommends cultivating community in the workplace. This goes further than celebrating achievements and having pot luck luncheons.  More importantly, it is fostering the unique relationships that physicians have with their colleagues. In the past, a physician’s lounge was a place where doctors would go to discuss shared experiences, develop interpersonal connections, and seek and provide critical peer support.  Today’s focus on productivity requirements, administrative burdens, and other clerical demands have contributed to the erosion of these collegial relationships and can lead to feelings of frustration and isolation for the physicians.

Strengthening values and culture is a strategy that most health care organizations, until recently, have not given the weight of importance that it deserves.  In most healthcare-related organizations, the mission statement speaks to serving patients and providing compassionate, quality care.  What’s often missing is that to achieve that mission, an organization’s culture, values, and principles must be in alignment, thereby creating the foundation for achievement.

Other strategies to promote physician engagement, as discussed in the Mayo Clinic report, include the promotion of flexibility and work-life integration, providing the resources for self-care, and facilitating organizational studies to research new approaches supporting their physician team.

To see all nine strategies for physician well-being from the Mayo Clinic report, click here.

To learn more about how culture, values, and fit matter when filling your physician or advanced practice vacancies, contact the industry experts at Jackson Physician Search today.

 

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How Smart Recruitment Helped An FQHC Expand Services

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The state of Healthcare for FQHCs and Rural Communities

According to data published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the U.S. will have a projected shortage of physicians that could reach over 120,000 by the end of the next decade.  Especially hard hit are rural communities, served by Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which are dealing with primary care shortages and also a lack of resources to address other healthcare needs.  In communities throughout the U.S., healthcare providers are struggling with an increased demand for behavioral, mental health and addiction treatment services.  In rural America, the problem is compounded because FQHCs are often relying on family practice physicians to provide these expanded services to the community.

In 2000, Congress passed the Drug Addiction Treatment Act, known as DATA 2000, allowing physicians to prescribe FDA-approved medications for the treatment of addiction and other mental health needs. Originally, DATA 2000 was enacted with restrictions limiting the number of patients a family care practitioner can treat at one time under the plan.  As the mental and behavioral health needs of the community grow, practitioners at FQHCs are applying for waivers that expand the number of patients they can treat under DATA 2000.

This scenario serves to illustrate how critical it is for FQHCs in rural communities to effectively recruit and retain primary care physicians who not only have the skills but are willing to earn the certifications necessary to meet the behavioral and mental health needs of their communities. Today, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers, almost 70% of Health Centers have a physician vacancy.

How one Rural FQHC Expanded Services and Access to Care

In many communities, the local health center is the sole healthcare provider available to the residents who live there.  FQHCs operate under federal funding and often rely on grants and other creative funding sources for recruitment purposes and expansion of services when needed.  Recently, an FQHC located in rural Vermont was dealing with a primary care vacancy at the same time they were trying to expand their mental health services offering.  Because of the length of time needed to fill vacancies in the past, they turned to Jackson Physician Search for help in meeting the stringent timeline associated with a federal grant they had received.  The grant funding was set to expire within a few months leading the FQHC to find a recruitment partner with national reach and a proven success rate.  Their requirement called for a family care physician who had experience treating all age groups and would also be willing and able to meet the certification requirements for a DATA 2000 waiver.  The waiver was a critical component of the FQHCs expansion of services for the growing mental and behavioral health needs of their community.  Ultimately, JPS presented a successful candidate that met the family practice requirements, was open to an accelerated relocation process, and will have the DATA 2000 waiver certification completed within the time required.

The above recruitment story is all too familiar to many FQHC Administrators.  As the primary care shortage continues impacting the healthcare industry, health centers will be navigating these challenges while finding new ways to serve their communities.

If your organization has a physician recruitment need, contact the professionals at Jackson Physician Search to find out how we can help.

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