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How do you know if you can trust a Locums company?

doctorette

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2014
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Just graduated residency, still looking for my first job. I am interested in locum hospitalist. The industry is in a depression thanks to COVID. I have an offer with a company that is small, not national, and specifically only in one state. The offer looks good, it has everything I want (no procedures or ICU coverage). But, I hesitate because it is not a big national firm like Comp Health. How do I know whether I can trust them? I don't want to show up to the hospital on day one and find out I have to intubate or put in central lines. In these cases I understand that the good locum firms will back you up against the hospital, but what if this one doesn't?

Everything about them appears legit so far. They are a NALTO member, have dealt with me professionally, and I spoke to both the recruiter and the CEO of the firm (who is a physician). Googling doesn't reveal anything negative about them, but unfortunately doesn't have much info about them to at all other than their website and linkedin page. I also can't find any mention of them on SDN.

I'm worried particularly as it would be my first job. Would it be wiser for me to hold out for Comp Health, Delta, or a large company exclusively?
 

rokshana

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Sep 20, 2004
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Just graduated residency, still looking for my first job. I am interested in locum hospitalist. The industry is in a depression thanks to COVID. I have an offer with a company that is small, not national, and specifically only in one state. The offer looks good, it has everything I want (no procedures or ICU coverage). But, I hesitate because it is not a big national firm like Comp Health. How do I know whether I can trust them? I don't want to show up to the hospital on day one and find out I have to intubate or put in central lines. In these cases I understand that the good locum firms will back you up against the hospital, but what if this one doesn't?

Everything about them appears legit so far. They are a NALTO member, have dealt with me professionally, and I spoke to both the recruiter and the CEO of the firm (who is a physician). Googling doesn't reveal anything negative about them, but unfortunately doesn't have much info about them to at all other than their website and linkedin page. I also can't find any mention of them on SDN.

I'm worried particularly as it would be my first job. Would it be wiser for me to hold out for Comp Health, Delta, or a large company exclusively?
Don’t work with comp health. They will not stand up for you and they have enough people that if they lose you, they aren’t going to care so much.

Part of knowing you trust your locums company is the relationship you build with them...that just takes time.

Make sure your contract is everything spelled out, make it for 3 months so if you need to walk away, you can do so in a short period of time.

Do you know anyone else’s that had worked with the company? Talk to them.

What is the company?
 

doctorette

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2014
42
12
186
  1. Attending Physician
Don’t work with comp health. They will not stand up for you and they have enough people that if they lose you, they aren’t going to care so much.

Part of knowing you trust your locums company is the relationship you build with them...that just takes time.

Make sure your contract is everything spelled out, make it for 3 months so if you need to walk away, you can do so in a short period of time.

Do you know anyone else’s that had worked with the company? Talk to them.

What is the company?

Interesting, so what you say about Comp Health that would be true for all large companies then? You are more disposable? Then maybe it is better to have a small firm?

The company appears small enough that I am afraid to say the name publicly. It is a small firm based in Wisconsin.

Does NALTO membership make a company more likely to be reliable or doesn't make a difference?
 
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zeloc

Senior Member
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Aug 22, 2003
404
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I wouldn't go with any locums company without knowing several doctors who worked for the company and finding out what their experiences were. +1 on reviewing the contract, and making sure the terms are acceptable to you, and negotiating on them if they are not.

How do you figure that the industry is in a depression? I am contacted all the time for hospitalist jobs.
Also it isn't mandatory to work for a locums company, another option is to inquire directly at hospitals and specifically look for per-diem work.
 

doctorette

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2014
42
12
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  1. Attending Physician
I wouldn't go with any locums company without knowing several doctors who worked for the company and finding out what their experiences were. +1 on reviewing the contract, and making sure the terms are acceptable to you, and negotiating on them if they are not.

How do you figure that the industry is in a depression? I am contacted all the time for hospitalist jobs.
Also it isn't mandatory to work for a locums company, another option is to inquire directly at hospitals and specifically look for per-diem work.

That's the thing, there is nothing in the terms I don't like about the contract. Actually, there were a couple of things that I didn't like the wording of, and they were cooperative in changing it for me. Therefore the only thing that makes me hesitate is not knowing anyone else who used this firm, and not finding much info on sdn or other forums. They have a website which looks fine and are NALTO members as I said, but I don't know if that is enough.

Yes I am still getting a lot of job emails but a lot of them require intubations, vent mgmt, and central lines which I don't do. Otherwise I feel there aren't overall as many offers as pre-COVID. But it does seem to be picking up again.
 

doctorette

Full Member
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Jan 10, 2014
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12
186
  1. Attending Physician
So I did some digging, and found a clause that states if the Physician is terminated with cause, then the locums company is not liable for payment for days already worked, unless they get paid by the hospital first...

With cause means anything that fits into "professionalism" or the hospital simply not liking my "quality of services provided to patients".

I was able to check one more locum contract also from a small company which says the same thing. Then I checked one provided by Echo locum tenens which does not state that.

I brought this up with the firm and they are telling me it is standard part of the contract and can't be changed. Wondering if anyone else has had experiences with these type of provisions? My first instinct is to walk away.
 

chessknt

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Oct 10, 2007
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They have to protect themselves too. If you do something crazy in the hospital and the hospital takes the drastic step to immediately fire you and decide to pursue litigation/stop honoring their contract with the locums company in response to your outrageous behavior then in that exceedingly unlikely scenario the locums company doesnt want to be out however much you were supposed to be paid which seems reasonable to me.
 

doctorette

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2014
42
12
186
  1. Attending Physician
They have to protect themselves too. If you do something crazy in the hospital and the hospital takes the drastic step to immediately fire you and decide to pursue litigation/stop honoring their contract with the locums company in response to your outrageous behavior then in that exceedingly unlikely scenario the locums company doesnt want to be out however much you were supposed to be paid which seems reasonable to me.

I take it that sort of wording is normal then?

My concern is that "for cause" means not just unprofessional behavior but the hospital not being happy with the "quality of services provided". In the latter case one can piss off a well connected specialist or nurse manager and be let go, and then not paid. I have seen a hospitalist being fired for political reasons as such. Maybe I am thinking into it too much. If it truly is standard then there is nothing I can do and I might as well sign.
 

rokshana

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Sep 20, 2004
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So I did some digging, and found a clause that states if the Physician is terminated with cause, then the locums company is not liable for payment for days already worked, unless they get paid by the hospital first...

With cause means anything that fits into "professionalism" or the hospital simply not liking my "quality of services provided to patients".

I was able to check one more locum contract also from a small company which says the same thing. Then I checked one provided by Echo locum tenens which does not state that.

I brought this up with the firm and they are telling me it is standard part of the contract and can't be changed. Wondering if anyone else has had experiences with these type of provisions? My first instinct is to walk away.

I have not seen that with the contracts that I have signed...walk away if they dont remove that phrase.
 

chessknt

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Oct 10, 2007
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I take it that sort of wording is normal then?

My concern is that "for cause" means not just unprofessional behavior but the hospital not being happy with the "quality of services provided". In the latter case one can piss off a well connected specialist or nurse manager and be let go, and then not paid. I have seen a hospitalist being fired for political reasons as such. Maybe I am thinking into it too much. If it truly is standard then there is nothing I can do and I might as well sign.

They have to not pay the locums company who then wouldn't pay you. I don't imagine the locums would let their clients just not pay them for nonsense reasons without exercising some legal action. You're asking them to assume the risk for collecting from the client hospital (which is reasonable and expected) but in the scenario that you piss the hospital off and they fire you (more murky here). I don't think I'd walk away from a locums company if everything else checked out but it is ultimately up to your comfort level. Of you have been fired before for pissing the wrong people off then I'd understand your concern.
 

doctorette

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2014
42
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186
  1. Attending Physician
They have to not pay the locums company who then wouldn't pay you. I don't imagine the locums would let their clients just not pay them for nonsense reasons without exercising some legal action. You're asking them to assume the risk for collecting from the client hospital (which is reasonable and expected) but in the scenario that you piss the hospital off and they fire you (more murky here). I don't think I'd walk away from a locums company if everything else checked out but it is ultimately up to your comfort level. Of you have been fired before for pissing the wrong people off then I'd understand your concern.

Never been fired but am concerned with their credibility for something like that to be in the contract. If they have that what else will they pull?

Maybe I am just nervous as it is my first job.
 

IMGASMD

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Jan 24, 2017
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Never been fired but am concerned with their credibility for something like that to be in the contract. If they have that what else will they pull?

Maybe I am just nervous as it is my first job.

It’s ultimately up to you and your comfort level.

You can always try to skip the locum company and negotiate with the hospital directly, sometimes more risky, but may higher rewords.
 
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