When an emergency strikes, there is no room for error in government contracts for healthcare staffing. Getting medical providers on the ground as quickly and efficiently as possible is the key to lowering death tolls, and protecting the health and safety of Americans.
Branches of the United States Government are increasingly turning to private contractors to fill the need for immediate medical services on emergency projects. While private healthcare staffing agencies certainly bring increased resources and industry expertise to the table, there is a troublesome, underlying issue that often complicates, or even prevents them from being able to fulfill their contracts.
Provider Supply Does Not Meet Demand
The demand for healthcare providers has skyrocketed, and will only continue to grow. However, the United States is currently experiencing a massive shortage of physicians; and advanced practitioners such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners are not too far behind.
Currently, 83.7 million Americans live in a healthcare professional shortage area, and the disconnect between supply and demand is only expected to get worse. Projections suggest that by the year 2032, the U.S. will see a shortage of nearly 122,000 doctors in both specialty and primary care.
Funding is Behind on Today’s Healthcare Landscape
With an insufficient supply of healthcare providers to fill the current needs for medical services across the U.S., today’s demand for medical professionals is higher than it’s ever been. This increased demand and low supply has resulted in a significant increase in rates for both permanently employed, and locum tenens providers alike.
With any contracting service for any government sanctioned project, the entity in charge most often seeks out resources and services that provide the best value. However, when it comes to healthcare professionals who are needed to provide indispensable medical services, there is little room for savings, especially within a severe shortage.
While it is understandable for any government branch to find the best value for their budget, it is the baseline for what “good value” means that must be adjusted to the current healthcare landscape.
Predatory Pricing Leads to Negligence
When government entities establish healthcare staffing contracts with the most affordable resources and services on the market, they oftentimes will not get the value they thought they would when it comes down to getting providers on the ground.
Because many private contractors are aware that they are more likely to win a government contract with lower costs, it is not uncommon for them to slash their prices upfront, and worry about recruiting providers later. This often results in these agencies being unable to fulfill their end of the contract, as they are unable to find providers willing to work at the unrealistic rates they had promised.
At Wellhart, we value transparency, and set realistic rates from the start to ensure our fulfillment of our contracts. We take pride in our ability to fill government healthcare staffing needs with the right amount of quality providers at the right time.
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