Keeping human resources (HR) costs in line is critical if ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) hope to stay ahead of the game in the face of falling reimbursements and more competition for patient volume. One way an ASC’s HR department can contribute to maximum efficiency is by properly handling employee relations risk management.

MedHQ has worked with over 70 healthcare facility partners to find HR savings that also deliver the benefits of improving employee satisfaction and reducing risk. Through the process, MedHQ gleaned a host of key findings that guided the creation of the MedHQ 10-Point HR Audit (10-Point HR Audit). The 10-Point HR Audit identifies inefficiencies that, when addressed, can result in six-figure savings for a healthcare facility.

This extensive MedHQ research cites employee discipline as the top HR challenge for surgery center managers, greater than benefits issues, payroll issues, policy advice, and workers compensation. A 2013 MedHQ ASC leadership survey revealed the top discipline issues, with the number one concern being at-work attitude, and attendance and tardiness being the top discipline problem at centers.

It can be challenging to address employer-employee relationship issues, such as properly administrating discipline, conducting annual reviews and keeping abreast of the laws affecting these issues. Law changes with the Affordable Care Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act must be managed and policies must be created to ensure compliance.

“Most ASC administrators lack the strategies required to optimize labor productivity. There have been numerous changes in employment law in the last several years,” said Tom Jacobs, MedHQ CEO. “Without the proper experience, training and practice in handling these issues, centers can find themselves dealing with a high turnover rate and a toxic work environment.”

The risks of ignoring or improperly managing under-performing employees are many and can have significant impact on operating income.

“Centers can expect to have one really difficult employee termination, on average, every seven years,” noted Jacobs.

When considering outsourcing your HR department to professionals, two important factors should be considered:

1. In a well-managed situation, legal fees and severance, for example, could total $5,000 to $10,000.
2. In contrast, if the situation is poorly managed, relative to the seriousness of the situation, the claim can result in $80,000 to $100,000 in fees or more.

“The employer may not see the direct expense, but there is typically a $10,000 to $25,000 deductible on employment practice liability insurance and any claim against insurance tends to raise future premiums,” said Jacobs. “When centers manage the risk related to these issues, they mitigate this expense in the long run.”

Click here to download the MedHQ white paper, “10 Ways to Save $10,000 in Human Resources.”

About the MedHQ 10-Point HR Audit
It takes approximately one or two hours for back office staff to gather the information necessary for the 10-Point HR audit. Typical savings = six figures. Request your risk-free 10-Point HR Audit today. If MedHQ fails to identify $25,000 in savings, the audit is free.