Steps to Take to Manage Involuntary Terminations

Every ambulatory surgery center needs a professional, dedicated staff to provide excellent patient care and operate efficiently. Successful ASC leaders are thorough in recruiting and hiring employees who are the best fit for their team, and modeling the culture they want to see in the organization.

But despite these efforts, there will still be times when an employee is not working out, and an involuntary termination is the best course of action. This is a delicate situation that can cause financial strain and employee stress for an ASC. Research suggests that a single termination, poorly handled, can cost $80,000 to $125,000 in legal fees and severance, compared to expenses of $5,000 to $10,000 when managed properly.

The following human resources best practices will mitigate risks associated with involuntary terminations.

Have direct conversations about performance and behavior.

When an employee is not meeting expectations or is behaving in an inappropriate way, management must step in and address the problem early on. A direct, private conversation with the employee should focus on specific examples of what is happening, and what needs to change going forward. Is there a reason for the employee’s behavior? Has something, such as a new work process or a problem at home, triggered this change? Leaders in the organization are responsible for starting this conversation, exploring possible solutions, and setting next steps.

Follow a progressive discipline process.

Progressive discipline is designed to bring unacceptable behavior or poor performance to an employee’s attention and outline the changes necessary to avoid involuntary termination. For example, if a manager notices an ASC employee who has a problem with arriving for work on time or missing shifts, this process might look like this:

  • First incident: Manager clarifies job expectations and responsibilities, and issues a verbal warning about the consequences of missing work
  • Second incident: Manager pulls the employee aside when the employee has arrived at work 40 minutes late, emphasizing that this is the behavior that must change, and documents the issue in writing, using a formal written reprimand
  • Third incident: Manager involves human resources and a determination is made as to whether an Employee Consultation or a final formal written reprimand is the next step. (In some situations, a suspension or demotion may be warranted)
  • If an Employee Consultation is scheduled, the employee and manager will have the opportunity to review the fact. After consideration of facts, a decision is made regarding involuntary termination.

Diffuse the impact on remaining employees.

When an involuntary termination is necessary, it’s important for leaders to take proactive and professional actions to make the transition as seamless as possible. The conversation that ends the staff member’s employment should be brief and respectful; it will not be a surprise, as it is a culmination of many previous steps and conversations. Immediately after a termination, management must inform the remaining staff of the change and prevent rumors from spreading. Leaders need to be prepared with a plan – answering questions, sharing what they need from employees in the short term, and showing that they are working to fill the vacancy as quickly as possible.

Learn how MedHQ uses its expertise to help ASCs mitigate HR risks.

10 Ways to Save $10,000 in Human Resources: Better Unemployment Claims Management

As ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) face more competition in the marketplace and falling reimbursements, they need to operate as efficiently as possible. Saving money on HR-related costs is one way they can thrive.

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 money-saving strategy the audit identified is to better manage the unemployment tax. When an unemployment claim is filed, states lean heavily in favor of the employee. However, there are things a surgery center can do to keep claims minimal.

States have different taxable wage formulas and the rate at which wages can be taxed can vary from 1-7%.

“The tax rate percentage can be negotiated to a lower rate,” said Tom Jacobs, MedHQ CEO. “And not all employers stay on top of this. MedHQ has audited centers with an unemployment tax rate as high as 9% or as low as 3%.”

Centers can save $3,500 – $10,000 annually by better managing unemployment tax.

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.”

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.”