LocumConnections to Share Rural Hospital Staffing Strategies at NRHA Conference

Physician-led locum tenens placement firm advocates for rural hospitals’ survival through new healthcare models, non-traditional approaches to locum tenens physician staffing

PHILADELPHIA—April 15, 2015—LocumConnections, a rapidly growing locum tenens physician placement firm built on a unique, physician-led model, will participate in the National Rural Health Association’s 38th annual Rural Health Conference in Philadelphia April 14-17.

At Booth 307 during the conference, LocumConnections representatives will share the company’s successes and achievements in helping rural hospitals solve some of their biggest challenges.

“Traditional healthcare models won’t stop the closure of rural hospitals,” said Talbot “Mac” McCormick, M.D., President and CEO of LocumConnections. “Effective solutions will require new methods, including a more strategic approach to locum tenens staffing that goes beyond trying to fill a last-minute need with temporary ‘placeholder’ staff. Because our company was founded by physicians and operates in the clinical healthcare space, we bring a unique understanding that delivers significant strategic value to a hospital program with their recruitment investment.”

 

Firsthand rural hospital leadership experience

Before his position with LocumConnections, Dr. McCormick ran the hospitalist program for Trinity Mother Frances Health System in Tyler, Texas, and saw firsthand the plight of rural hospitals in the area. With LocumConnections, he has grown the company as an advocate for the healthcare industry and for the valuable service rural hospitals perform.

“From our foundation and mission in making a difference for every patient our providers see, we believe that every placement and subsequent encounter is vitally important to both the patient, hospital and community in general,” said Dr. McCormick. “It’s a calling we take very seriously, especially as we see the number of rural hospital closures growing rapidly. With our unique understanding of what it takes to solve physician staff deficiencies, we can help other rural hospitals avoid a similar fate.”

Bringing equilibrium to locum tenens pricing

In particular, LocumConnections is committed to bring equilibrium to the often erratic, cyclical pricing model in the locum tenens industry, helping rural hospitals meet the demands of the physician shortage with stable pricing that ensures locum tenens staffing is a viable part of a hospital’s long-term strategy. The company’s network of providers includes hospitalists, emergency medicine, primary care, urgent care, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

“We know other organizations are evaluating every cost-trimming measure possible while infusing quality performance measures, so we believe it’s evident to look beyond traditional solutions and help work with our partners in the industry to impact healthcare outcomes related to recruitment and retention,” said Joseph “Jody” Turner, Vice President of LocumConnections. “The demand and necessity for the locum tenens sector is exponential, and can play a pivotal role in ensuring rural hospitals continue to serve their communities.”

 

A native of rural Texas, Turner understands the difficulty rural hospitals face in attracting full-time staff physicians. “I grew up in Gilmer, a town of 5,000 that had to close its hospital doors just recently,” he said. “My family still lives in Gilmer, and like other folks in the community, they are concerned that it makes access to healthcare services that much more difficult, especially with an aging demographic and most hospital systems being 20-40 miles away. Being an executive now with a physician-led locum tenens staffing firm, I have a mindset shaped by these personal experiences, and am proud that our organization is invested to be part of the solution to the problems of rural hospitals today.”

Turner added that in requests for assistance from across the country, LocumConnections witnesses the retraction of physicians in rural areas nearly every day. “The recognition of alternative collaborative approaches will be necessary in the days ahead, such as interactive remote presence telemedicine and other related services,” he said.

 

By physicians, for physicians

According to both Dr. McCormick and Turner, LocumConnections’ roots grew from actual case studies of clinical recruitment and staffing success in mitigating challenges with hospital partners in the temporary contract hospitalist sector. Since that time the company’s reach has spread nationally in hospital medicine, as well as other inpatient, primary care and facility based providers in a range of settings—from large metropolitan areas to small rural communities.

“Our mission is to go beyond the definition of locum tenens as ‘placeholder’ staff,” said Dr. McCormick. “We believe that temporary assignments demand the best doctors, the best clinical and personal fit, the best behind-the-scenes services like payroll and travel to ensure the experience is a good one for all concerned. We look forward to sharing our strategy and our recent successes with NRHA conference attendees.”

 About LocumConnections

LocumConnections provides locum tenens physician (MD/DO) and physician extender (PA/NP) staffing to healthcare and hospital systems, practice management groups and clinics. Because LocumConnections is built and led by physicians who come from both the practice and clinical setting and locum tenens background, the company is uniquely qualified to understand and solve the challenges faced by modern healthcare organizations. With a rapidly growing footprint in the Southeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, LocumConnections continues to expand its services to meet the needs of doctors and hospitals across the United States.