MedHQ Helps ASCs Navigate Through OR Nursing Shortage

A recent study published by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, Nursing: Supply and Demand through 2020, reveals that the U.S. economy will create 1.6 million job openings for nurses through 2020. Of the 1.6 million job openings, 700,000 will be newly-created opportunities, while 880,000 will result from retirements.

The study also found that the nursing workforce will face a shortfall of about 200,000 professionals by 2020. “This shortfall impacts the operating rooms (ORs) of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) all over the country, and is a growing concern for our clients,” said MedHQ CEO Tom Jacobs. “Whether seeking to fill newly-created opportunities or replace retiring nurses, our human resources (HR) professionals are here to help our partner centers solve this issue and locate qualified candidates.”

Three solutions to the OR nursing shortage that ASCs are experiencing:

  1. From relationships with local nursing programs. Jacobs said that, in some parts of the country, it is challenging to find a pool of quality OR nurses to choose from. He recommends reaching out to nursing programs in the area, and establishing a connection with the school. “This can provide your ASC with a major advantage,” said Jacobs. “However, it’s important to understand that this relationship-building is a long-term solution. It won’t solve the issue today.”
  2. Pay for relocation expenses. When looking to fill nursing opening, Jacobs noted it is understandable that the ASC wants to perform a local search only. But, that can greatly limit access to the most qualified candidates. Jacobs recommends ASCs should consider paying the relocation expenses of a candidate that is hired outside of the area.
  3. Establish a great culture at your ASC. There are various ways to accomplish this, but a good start is to provide high-quality health benefits and a competitive salary for OR nurses, said Jacobs. “Overall, make it a great place to work,” he said. “We’re fortunate most of the surgeons and doctors working in our facilities are great people and care deeply about establishing and maintaining a winning culture. And health benefits and competitive salary levels are an important part of the equation.”

If you are looking for a proven and trusted partner to manage your HR department activities, from recruitment and building culture to accounting and consulting, contact MedHQ. We are the premier provider of outsourced HR services and dedicated exclusively to surgery centers.

Email Tom Jacobs or call: 708-492-0519.

10 Ways to Save $10,000 in Human Resources: Address Under-Performing Employees

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.

10 Ways to Save $10,000 in Human Resources: Consolidating Vendors Will Save Your Center Money

Faced with falling revenue and more competition for patient volume, ambulatory surgery center (ASC) leaders are seeking efficiencies across every aspect of the business today. However, most centers are missing opportunities within one of the top three largest line items, along with building rent and medical supplies, that can keep costs in line. That item is human resources (HR).

To remedy this, MedHQ has worked with over 70 healthcare facility partners to find 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.

Some examples from the 10-Point HR Audit are complex, but some are straightforward. One of the simplest ways to save money is vendor consolidation. Many surgery centers utilize more than 20 vendors to provide support services, ranging from payroll and insurance to hiring, firing and training.

Of course, vendor relationships take time to develop and manage. Bundling services can lead to discounted fees and fewer mistakes, and also save center management hundreds of hours each year.

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.

Insurance Questions Abound post-Election

As the dust settles after the 2016 presidential election, many questions remain unanswered related to the future of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, and MedHQ’s seasoned human resources professionals continue to take the pulse of ambulatory surgery center (ASC) employee health insurance.

Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump promised to repeal and replace Obamacare. And in fact Republicans from both houses of Congress were able to come together and approve a repeal of key provisions of PPACA, thereby demonstrating that PPACA “repeal” may indeed be possible. So while Congress and the executive branches of government now appear aligned on a repeal and replace goal, it is yet unclear the precise form of legislation will ultimately pass congress and be signed into law by the president. As details unfold, we can try and read the tea leaves and predict what may happen. At this point it appears that the ultimate solution includes a strengthening or at least continuation of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Whatever happens, the fact remains that healthcare costs are on an upward climb, with the Department of Health and Human Services reporting in July 2016 that Americans could pay over $10,000 per person for the first time.

“Understandably, the lack of clarity has left ambulatory surgery center (ASC) employees wondering exactly what repeal and replace means,” said MedHQ CEO Tom Jacobs. “And as healthcare expenses continue to rise, employees rightfully want to know, ‘how will I be impacted?’”

Jacobs weighs in and provides insights and answers to some of the most commonly asked questions that ASC management may need to field from employees.

  1. Will my costs and out-of-pocket expenses continue to increase? Premiums have skyrocketed due to PPACA mandated coverage requirements, particularly those for individuals and small groups. Jacobs said some of the coverage requirements could be undone under the new administration, which could slow the growth in premium rates. “Undoing some of the PPACA mandates could reduce pressure on rising premiums cost, and HSAs could be a great option,” he noted.
  2. Will my insurance plan include my doctor? “This is an important consideration for everyone,” noted Jacobs, “but one of the ways the market is responding to rising costs is by narrowing providers and contracting with lower cost providers. The ability to choose a preferred provider may still be possible, but it may come at an increased cost.”
  3. What will happen with Health Savings Accounts? President-elect Trump has stated he wants to make it easier to pass HSAs to heirs, and House Republicans want a two-fold increase in contribution limits. As of June 30, 2016, Americans had opened 18.2 million HSAs, which is a 25% increase from a year earlier, according toDevenir, an independent advisor and consultant in the health savings account industry. Additionally, assets had grown to an estimated $34.7 billion by June, up 22% over the previous year. “Participation in HSAs is growing and, as it stands to date, it appears that HSA plans will be encouraged, not discouraged,” Jacobs advised.
  4. Will employers and health plans continue to innovate and add any new features, and will they work? “We field a lot of questions about the benefits of adding options to health plans such as telemedicine and access to retail (walk-in) clinics,” said Jacobs. He is hopeful that lessening of the regulatory environment will enable the market to provide more consumer-friendly services. “In the very first month we offered a telemedicine option, the number of claims avoided for people who accessed the telemedicine service offset entirely the cost of the telemedicine plan to the employer,” he said.
  5. Will my employer establish a wellness program? According to the Society for Human Resources Management, in 2015, 80% of employers offered preventative wellness services and information. “This trend appears to have staying power,” noted Jacobs. “If employers elect to offer a wellness program, we recommend a tangible, results-driven program that supports the company culture. Enhancing productivity is key but ultimately, the goal is utilizing the program to decrease healthcare costs.”

To learn more about how MedHQ can improve your ASC’s operations and act as a liaison for all employee health insurance inquiries, email Tom Jacobs today or call: 708-492-0519.

10 Ways to Save $10,000 in Human Resources: Outsource Prep Work For Open Enrollment

As ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) turn over every stone to find the efficiencies that will help them stay competitive in a changing marketplace, looking hard at HR practices is an excellent place to find savings.

 

One of the simplest ways for an ASC HR department to save money is to outsource the work that is necessary to prepare for the employee benefits open enrollment period. Administering an open enrollment period can take weeks of preparation, costing the department 40-80 hours of productivity.

 

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.

 

Productivity lost on open enrollment preparation and administration can be even higher for surgery centers with more employees and high turnover. More efficient open enrollment preparation, combined with outsourcing the time it takes to evaluate and decide upon benefits renewal, has a pair of advantages:

 

  1. Outsourcing open enrollment work can save a center up to $10,000each year
  2. And, it allowscenter management to stay focused on high-value priorities

 

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.

10 Ways to Save $10,000 in Human Resources: Maintaining a Strong Company Culture Can Save Thousands of Dollars

Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) must be able to operate at maximum efficiency.

Falling reimbursements and more competition for patient volume have squeezed revenue, and proactive centers must find ways to save money. One way to accomplish that is to keep HR costs in line.

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.

One way ASCs can save money and keep employees happy is by maintaining a strong company culture. A strong company culture attracts and retains good employees.

“Centers will foster a stronger culture by recruiting a group of 20 – 40 people who have similar values rather than a group with varying values,” said MedHQ CEO Tom Jacobs. “A strong company culture accompanied by good HR practices, good compensation plans, and good benefits work together to reduce employee turnover.”

An HR partner like MedHQ can perform a trio of duties to help ASC HR departments build stronger cultures.

  1. Help surgery centersdefine their culture and leverage it when hiring top talent
  2. Conduct behavioral interviewing and organizinga peer-reviewed recruiting process
  3. Identify employeeswho are a good fit not only for a particular job but for the company culture

Reducing turnover by one full-time employee translates to $10,000 – $12,000 in savings related to replacement costs. If a center has a 30% annual turnover rate and 30 employees, that’s nine people per year. If the center can cut that rate in half, that equals considerable savings, both in terms of employee recruiting and training.

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.

10 Ways to Save $10,000 in Human Resources: Controlling Compensation Costs Helps ASCs Compete

One way an ASC’s HR department can help a center operate more efficiently in a competitive marketplace is to cut down on costs by utilizing fair compensation programs that will draw desirable and qualified employees. This strategy will also cut down on costly high turnover rates, which can force surgery center management to be in perpetual hiring mode.

 

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.

 

To find compensation savings, MedHQ developed and utilizes a 100-question job analysis guide to understand how much a job is ‘worth’ relative to other jobs. Each job is scored and compared to ASC association data to determine pay. When employees understand the thoughtful, fair process, they are more satisfied and turnover is less likely. Two benefits are:

 

  1. Centers can save $10,000- 12,000 per person by minimizing unwanted turnover
  2. Centers can also save on related replacement costs including advertising,hiring temporary and permanent placement agencies, as well as onboarding new employees.

 

“A good process is to score each job well and then use data from credible sources such as the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association regarding the average pay for specific positions, keeping in mind the same job may be weighted differently at different centers,” said Tom Jacobs, MedHQ CEO. “MedHQ uses the data as a starting point, then takes into account information gleaned from the 100-question job analysis guide to structure compensation guidelines for each surgery center.”

 

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

Managing Worker’s Compensation Insurance Can Save Your Center Money

10 Ways to Save $10,000 in Human Resources: Managing worker’s compensation insurance can save your center money

 

Nosediving reimbursements and increasing competition for patient volume have squeezed revenue, and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are constantly on the lookout for ways to streamline efficiency and save money.  One rich source of savings is proper management of worker’s compensation insurance.MedHQ has worked with over 70 healthcare facility partners to find 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.

 

When it comes to keeping worker’s compensation insurance premiums in check, analysis of claims over the past five years shows the cost of claims generally follows the 80/20 rule. An average surgery center may have one worker’s compensation claim per year, and about 20% of the time, that claim will materially impact the worker’s compensation insurance premium.

 

A MedHQ Worker’s Compensation Claim Analysis from 2010-2015 found that, when broken down:

  • 80% of claims cost $0 – $5,000
  • 10% of claims cost $5,000 to $25,000
  • 5% of claims cost $25,000 to $75,00
  • 5% of claims cost more than $75,000 (and potentially $350,000 or more

 

For a $1,000,000 payroll, the insurance premium can range from $3,000 – $25,000. So the goal should be to keep it on the lower end of this range, promoting workplace safety to reduce the risk for potential accidents will save a center money.

 

“Keep an eye on worker’s compensation insurance to make sure it is managed well, and give the proper attention to claims that are red flags,” said Tom Jacobs, MedHQ CEO. “Typical big claims resulting from slips and falls or back injuries from lifting can really impact insurance. It’s burdensome to manage the situation, and then centers are left with an employee who can’t be productive.”

 

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.

MedHQ Assists Partners with New Federal Overtime Rule

A new Department of Labor overtime rule could go into effect as soon as Dec. 1, 2016, and MedHQ can guide your surgery center through the rule change, ensuring you are informed and well prepared.

The new rule will require employers to pay overtime to salaried employees making less than $47,476 per year, and will extend overtime pay protection to over 4 million workers across the country. Even though the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would postpone the Dec. 1 effective date, and Senate action is pending, ASCs must be prepared.

For the most part, ASCs employ hourly workers. But there are exceptions. “Any time the Department of Labor issues a new rule, there are various moving parts, and it is critical that our partner ASCs are kept abreast of the ins and outs,” said Tom Jacobs, MedHQ CEO. “And our full HR team will work around the clock to make sure your center is compliant; that way, you can focus on what’s most important: caring for patients.”

From the time the new rule was a possibility, MedHQ showed laser-like focus in preparing its partner centers. The company identified salaried employees who could be impacted for the ASCs, and if the salary was below the new rule’s threshold, MedHQ mapped out a case-by-case strategy for its partner centers.

Strategies can vary from center to center, as there can be exceptions, and each situation must be handled appropriately. For example, employees working in sales may have a low base salary that falls under the new federal threshold; but, their variable pay might be quite high, depending on sales numbers, meaning they are not eligible for the new overtime rule. “These are the kind of unique employment situations that must be analyzed and handled with care,” said Jacobs. “And this is precisely what MedHQ provides: top-level analysis and personal touch.”

To learn more about how MedHQ can improve your ASC’s operations, reduce costs and reduce employer risk, email Tom Jacobs today, or call: 708-492-0519.

There’s Still Time to Evaluate Health Plans

The calendar is moving quickly toward 2017, and we are entering that time of year where you are going to be pulled in all directions with critical end-of-year matters including evaluating health plans and perhaps even looking at new vendor proposals.

These important decisions can positively (or negatively) impact your center’s bottom line.

MedHQ has developed a short quiz that will tell you whether evaluating your health plan needs to be a priority for your center.

mhq-2017healthplans-0916-02

If you’ve answered yes to the majority of these questions, there’s no need to spend the month of November on your health benefits plan. But if most of your answers were no, we can help you find a better solution. And here’s the good news – there’s still time.

We move quickly to help surgery centers evaluate and make decisions regarding health plans that not only save money but also attract and retain employees in a candidate-driven market.

Email, fill out the form below, or call today: 708-492-0519. CEO and Co-Founder Tom Jacobs works daily with ASC leadership to improve operations, reduce costs and reduce their employer risk.

To learn more, download our recent white paper, “10 Ways Surgery Centers are Wasting Money in Human Resources.”

 



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