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Counterpoint: The VMS/MSP debate

March 10 2014

Two different view on vendor management systems and managed service providers in the locums tenens space are argued in Staffing Industry Review magazine’s Counterpoint column by Bob Livonius of AMN Healthcare Services Inc. and Melissa Byington of CompHealth. To read the article, click here.


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Kent McMackin03/18/2014 01:56 pm

There are many movable parts to the physician locum process as it integrates through a service organization that provides physician management services or directly to the hospital client; I could make a very long list of hospital's HCAPS Survey data; core measures, revenue cycle, etc. that shows there is room for improvement in the physician locum tenens space; most often dealing with physician consistency in very critical components of what a hospital and patient needs a physician to do for them.

I do support the VMS/MSP type of approach because it requires that locum tenens companies have financial and other business and quality measures skin in the game. I found the process to be open, a give and take environment, that allowed all parties involved to negotiate the documents that caused hospitals, physician management organizations, and locum tenens firms to agree to "you do", "we do" steps to optimize the patient's physician experience.

AMN Healthcare, CompHealth, and many others in this space have many dedicated people who make a difference every day finding one physician to cover one shift so that a hospital who has a difficulty attracting physicians can provide a community with access to healthcare. I value this service, it is needed now and will continue to be needed more in the future.

That said, this business is so much more than filling shifts; it is also about insuring that any locum tenens company, no matter how small, who provides physicians has the infrastructure in place to know that the physician is a quality physician and that they are responsible and accountable for that physician.

This discussion needs to be moved to a working summit level; where industry leaders in this space can consider industry-wide reform and oversight of minimal requirements for a company to do business in this space. If it already exists, it is not working.

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