Most healthcare providers are curious about the concept of locum tenens. Some have worked as locum doctors at some point in their careers, while a greater percentage plan to do so at some point in their careers. If you fall under the latter category then we believe you want to know everything about how it works.
Therefore, in this article, we will try as best as we can to answer most questions you have about locum tenens. We will also discuss tips with which you can select a good company through which you can achieve your “locum’s doc” dream.
What is Locum Tenens?
Locum Tenens literally means “to hold a place”. And in the medical world, it is used to describe a sort of temporary job assignment which a health care practitioner does for a while. The assignment may be solely hospital care or clinic or could be a mix of both; this is usually based on the preference of the practitioner.
What is a Locum Tenens Company?
A locum tenens company serves as the in-between for hospitals in need of locum healthcare workers and healthcare workers searching for temporary assignments. These locum tenens companies keep a file that contains the specifications of physicians, and once an assignment comes up that fits that specification; they get the hospital and the physician in contact. So, the first step to getting a locum tenens assignment is getting a good company.
What Expenditure Does the Company Cover?
Of course, they are in charge of your hourly pay. But aside from that, a good company would take care of:
1. Transportation and Accommodation
This is an expenditure that most agencies wouldn’t fail to cover. If the job is in a place that is not close, the agency is expected to cover the transportation bills for you to go to the place of assignment. Also, if you are meant to stay over in the place, the agency would provide accommodation for the entire period of your stay.
2. Malpractice Insurance
This may differ based on the policies of the agency in question. But most agencies often provide their physicians with a malpractice policy whenever they are on an assignment.
3. Licensing and Credentialing
Although not all agencies offer this, it is one of the things the company should cover. Regardless, most good companies will ensure their physicians get through licensing and credentialing as fast as possible. This is even made easier with the efforts of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission; click here https://www.imlcc.org/faqs/ to learn more about this Commission and its efforts. So, one thing to consider when you want to choose a company is if they provide this service and have the capability to hasten the process.
What Expenditure Does the Company Not Cover?
The agency will not cover:
1. Your Taxes
All your taxes; federal, state, Social Security, and even Medicare will be removed from your paycheck. You will also be required to pay income taxes in the state in which you did the locum assignment.
2. Medical Benefits or Insurance
The agency will not fund your medical benefit, health insurance, retirement plans, and even your life insurance. If you decide to do locum tenens on a full-term basis then you may either use your spouse’s health insurance plan or health exchange.
What is the Salary Rate for Locum Tenens?
The average rate for locum healthcare practitioners typically varies according to companies, state, and other factors. However, the hourly pay is higher than what is earned by full-time health practitioners. So, the pay which an agency offers should be one of the criteria which you consider before you choose the company.
Tips to Help You Choose Locum Tenens Company
Consider the following tips before you choose a company
1. Do not be swayed by how big the agency is
Most times, bigger is not better. The agency selling itself in such grand ways may not be the right one for you. For one, considering how grand their advertising is, their hourly pay may not be as high as it should be. Smaller agencies may have all you need and would even pay more attention to your needs and expectations.
2. Ensure your terms are clear
You may not be business savvy but you need to make sure you communicate your terms unequivocally. If you are not deliberate with your demands and expectations, you may be taken for granted. You need to have good negotiating skills and make sure you are heard. Need help learning how to negotiate? Then, visit here. Your negotiation should not be solely monetary. For example, if your patient’s safety is something you want to come first at all times, ensure it is in the agreement.
3. Do not be careless about contracts
When you give a company your CV and they give it to a hospital, they may ask you to sign a contract. This contract may state that you are bound to them for a certain time. When this happens, you will be unable to take on another offer for that period even though it is a better opportunity for you. So, make sure you read and understand before you sign any document.
If you are interested in locum tenens, it is only right that you understand all it entails. This article discusses the basic details of this career choice. Now, hopefully, you’d be making a more informed choice as you look at this option.