For many physicians and healthcare providers, deciding to work a locum tenens assignment is a big enough decision, only to find out you then have to choose an agency to work with. Here are some tips for choosing a locum tenens agency that will help you decide who to partner with.
First, a locum tenens agency is the company serving as the intermediary between you and the facility where you will work. For most physicians the opportunities they want will dictate what agencies they work with, but it’s also important to consider how well this agency will work for you.
Choose a NALTO Member: Many locum tenens agencies are members of the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO – www.nalto.org). Members of this organization must adhere to a written code of ethics that covers relationships between clients, physician providers, and other locum tenens firms. For you, as a physician, working with a NALTO member, like Medestar, you know that you have a third-party ensuring best business principles and practices are being followed.
Choose availability: While you are working on assignment, you want peace of mind that your locum tenens agency is available at all times for any assistance you may need. During the initial conversation with a recruiter, find out how to reach the company in case of issues during an assignment and if they have an after hours/emergency line. The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Travel delays happen, hospitals dynamics are always changing – you need someone you can trust and who is readily available to answer questions.
Choose efficiency: Sometimes the biggest burden of a locum tenens assignment is the medical staff application process. While locum tenens agencies do not conduct the credentialing process at the facility, they are required to obtain similar paperwork in order to conduct a thorough review before presenting you to a practice or obtaining insurance coverage. This is where knowledge and experience will become important. The medical staffing or operation division within locum tenens firms will help you organize your paperwork for collection, arrange your travel and even sometimes help with your state licensing process. It is important their methods be convenient for you and most of all efficient.
Not all locum tenens staffing firms will meet these basic requirements. Just remember beyond compensation and location, there is more evaluation to be done before considering a locum tenens assignment. Hopefully, choosing a locum tenens agency will be easy for you and you find a reliable partner.
Is your practice considering working with a locum tenens agency? Check out the benefits of working with Medestar and what we can offer clients needing locum tenens coverage.