America’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) –commonly known as Community Health Centers – are community-based, primary care medical facilities serving patients in rural and underserved areas. According to the National Association of Community Health Centers, FQHCs serve as the primary medical home for over 25 million people in 9,800 communities across America and deliver value – $24 billion annually – by preventing disease, reducing health disparities, and managing the treatment of costly chronic disease.
Amid the uncertainty surrounding the health care access and funding in the U.S., Community Health Centers face several challenges, not the least of which is finding enough providers for the growing volume of patients they serve. Either the community doesn’t have enough local physicians and advanced practice providers to adequately staff their facility, or they don’t have the resources to attract providers from other higher-population areas. This is just one reason locum tenens providers are a great solution for the staffing challenges faced by FQHCs.
What is Locum Tenens?
As defined by the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations, locum tenens most commonly refers to temporary physicians who contract with recruitment agencies to perform medical services for a healthcare organization over a certain period of time. The term is often applied to other medical providers working in a similar temporary capacity, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
Locum tenens physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners often work through specialized staffing agencies, including Ultimate Locum Tenens, who handle much of the “behind the scenes” details – including recruiting the right provider for the assignment, conducting background checks, and coordinating physician credentialing and malpractice insurance.
Streamlining the Process
For Community Health Centers with limited staff, time is precious. Being able to rely on a locum tenens staffing firm to provide high-quality providers and handle the extensive hiring process is a major benefit. Ultimate Locum Tenens effectively finds physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners who provide outstanding care to patients and are aligned with the Community Health Center’s culture and values. They handle the time consuming and often complicated process of hiring providers, including screening, background checks, and physician credentialing and malpractice insurance. Having Ultimate Locum Tenens handle the hiring process and provide ongoing support during the provider’s locum tenens assignment enables the Community Health Center staff to remain focused on the big picture.
Addressing Provider Shortages
Community Health Centers frequently face the challenges of being understaffed. Facilities in remote areas are often hardest hit by the nation’s shortage of physicians and health care professionals. Hiring a locum tenens physician or advanced practice provider in a temporary role provides immediate relief to a Community Health Center experiencing inadequate coverage. Locum tenens also provides flexibility with regard to the type of provider needed. While some Centers may require a primary care physician, others may need a nurse practitioner to handle certain types of patient visits.
The locum tenens lifestyle attracts physicians for many different reasons. One of these is the opportunity to practice medicine in an area where it is most urgently needed and thereby “give back” to communities in need. Often physicians nearing retirement view locum tenens work as an opportunity to serve in ways they may not have been able to during their full-time career. Utilizing locum tenens providers in Community Health Centers is a win-win: the facility benefits from immediate service from a qualified provider, and the provider has an opportunity to practice medicine where he or she will have a profoundly positive impact.
Specializing in Primary Care
Community Health Centers mainly focus on “delivering a broad array of primary and preventive care services, including screening, diagnosis and management of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, heart and lung disease, depression, cancer and HIV/AIDS” (NACHC.org). While any locum tenens staffing firms focus solely on medical specialties like cardiology or psychiatry, Ultimate Locum Tenens specializes in primary care and general practice providers – the perfect fit to serve the needs of Community Health Centers. By partnering with Ultimate Locum Tenens, Community Health Centers have access to a network of highly qualified primary care professionals who are actively seeking out locum tenens roles.
Ultimate Locum Tenens specializes in placing primary care locum tenens physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants for Community Health Centers throughout the nation that provide essential medical services to communities in need.
About Ultimate Locum Tenens
Ultimate Locum Tenens, an organization affiliated with Roth Staffing Companies, is an expert healthcare staffing solutions provider. The company specializes in recruiting physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in locum tenens and direct placement roles for health care facilities throughout the nation. Using their experience and industry-leading processes, Ultimate Locum Tenens is committed to finding the Ultimate Fit for their healthcare clients and medical professionals seeking locum tenens opportunities.