How to Find Locum Coverage… Quickly!
A common need among medical facilities looking for locum coverage is a quick hiring process. This makes sense – facilities typically require locum coverage on an urgent basis! Whether a practicing physician unexpectedly needs to take time off, or it’s just been a scramble to secure coverage before a certain date – the need to quickly attract and hire locums is obvious.
So how can you go about doing so? The most efficient method would be to reach a large pool of your target audience (i.e. qualified physicians; perhaps of a certain specialization).
Locumunity has a network of over 1,300 physicians (and growing daily!) all across Canada. Once your job details are posted – the job is automatically sent out to all qualified physician users that match your job criteria. This promotes active traffic to your posting, allowing for far more exposure than if your job sat passively on a job board.
Through choosing an efficient and high-impact method of advertising your job – you’re already increasing your chances of hiring a locum sooner just by sheer numbers.
However, besides just having more physicians viewing your job posting – you need to make your posting stand out from all the others. And you need a physician to be incentivized to work at your clinic over another possible opportunity.
The most effective way to do this would be to offer an attractive compensation model for the locum. The vast majority of clinics advertise a fee-for-service model – commonly known as billing split.
To breakdown the billing split:
• A fee-sharing agreement in which the gross fees generated and received during the locum period are shared
• Standard minimum billing split is 70/30 – 70% of billings go to the locum, while 30% goes to the clinic for overhead
• The locum’s payment is completely dependent upon how many patients they see
• This isn’t typically in the locum’s favour because there’s often under-booking when a host physician is out of office. Hypothetically, patient volume could be very low one day and the locum wouldn’t receive a reasonable wage.
This where per diem rates come into play.
If you’re trying to secure locum coverage as soon as possible, the best method by far would be for a clinic to offer a per-diem rate for locums. The locum positions that get the most interest
Let’s take a look at per diem rates:
• Per diem is latin for “per day”, essentially meaning a daily salaried amount that the locum is guaranteed
• This is heavily utilized in rural locum programs, that may have a more difficult time attracting physicians to their locations
• The salary amount would be negotiated between the locum and facility beforehand. As the facility, you’d calculate the most reasonable daily rate based on the typical patient flow your clinic sees
• The per diem rate needs to be high enough that the locum feels it is worth their time to travel or cover on short-notice
Alternatively, you may decide to offer a combination payment model that combines both the billing split and per diem. Consider this a billing split, but with a daily minimum guarantee. For example, the job may be advertised with a 75/25 billing split, with a $900 daily minimum guarantee. This way, the locum is guaranteed at least $900, but has the opportunity to earn more if they end up billing more. Besides ensuring the locum that they’ll get paid a reasonable daily wage, they’re also incentivized to bring in a steady stream of billings for the clinic.
We’ve talked with some of our physicians and the general consensus is that this payment model is ideal for locums – and far more attractive than the billing split.
Most importantly is to make sure the agreement between the clinic and the locum are clearly laid out before the hire so both parties don’t have misunderstandings later on. Locumunity also helps facilitate this contract and make sure all terms are understood and upheld.
If you’re a clinic looking for urgent coverage, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!