It will take more than the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to convince medical students to go into the field or to prevent primary care doctors from leaving.
Salt Lake City, UT (Vocus) August 17, 2010
Global Medical Staffing (http://www.gmedical.com) offers emergency departments resources for dealing with the projected onslaught of 30 million formerly uninsured patients.
Global Medical’s locum tenens (temporary) doctors:
•Help emergency departments manage increases in patient volume
•Increase department and hospital revenue
•Reduce physician staff burnout
•Are easily eliminated after peak demand subsides
The Boston Globe reported that emergency room attendance in Massachusetts rose by 9% from 2004 to 2008, to about 3 million visits a year. One reason, they said, was expanded coverage.
“It will take more than the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to convince medical students to go into the field or to prevent primary care doctors from leaving.” says Alan Lakomski, COO of Global Medical Staffing. “Midlevels may be able to ease the burden, however, midlevels can only do so much. Plus, training takes time and money and there are simply too few of them to meet the demand.”
Division of Health Care Finance and Policy states, "Expanded coverage may have contributed to the rise in emergency room visits, as newly insured patients entered the healthcare system and have had a hard time finding a primary care doctor or are having trouble getting a last-minute appointment with their physician."
Hospitals may choose to fill temporary needs with locum tenens. “Temporary staff means that costs can be easily cut when peak demand for services subsides.” says Robert Stringham, Global Medical Staffing’s CEO. “Experienced locum tenens physicians can handle additional patients during peak periods, which builds practice revenue, gives patients faster access to physicians and prevents physician staff burnout.”
No one really knows what effect the influx of patients will have on the patient/physician balance in ERs. Organizations can go on hiring blitzes and stretch the budgetary constraints of their facilities, or they can choose to work with existing staff and hope that the storm passes. While there is no panacea that will fix the problem, there are measures facilities can take to protect themselves and it begins with locum tenens.
Visit http://www.gmedical.com for more information about locum tenens and Global Medical Staffing.
Telephone: 1.800.760.3174 ext. 137