Start Locum Tenens?

Discussion in 'Med Business [ MD/MBA, DO/MBA, DDS/MBA ]' started by zeloc, Jun 10, 2015.

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  1. zeloc

    zeloc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    348
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    Aug 22, 2003
    Physician
    Faculty
    Does anyone have experience starting a locum tenens company or working as an independent contractor physician without a locum agency?

    Locums agencies take a substantial cut from matching physicians to opportunities but don't seem to provide much value to ppl who can do the paperwork themselves - apply for state medical licenses, negotiate with hospitals, obtain insurance, find housing, etc.
     
    MedicalDoctorV likes this.
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  3. doc05

    doc05 2K Member 10+ Year Member

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    your proposed approach will only work if there is one particular hospital/practice that you want to work with, and if you've established a good relationship, you can make this work.

    more of an issue is attracting/maintaining clients for locums gigs. They often need docs on short notice, and an established agency can offer pre-credentialed/licensed docs to fill those needs. If you're going it alone, you just won't be able to do this.... and hence, there would be little reason for the hospital/practice to work directly with you, as opposed to "abcLocums agency" etc.
     
  4. zeloc

    zeloc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    As an individual locums, I still do not see a downside for a hospital/practice, because presumably they can pay an individual less than they would an agency, and in addition, even if one could not provide a short-term doc, how would it harm them to have an additional contact on their list next to abcLocums agency?

    But also, I don't necessarily mean that one would have to work alone. What is to prevent a network of physicians from various states from working together in a self-formed locums agency? A network of licensed physicians are going to have contacts in many states, not only at hospitals they are working at, but will also know of other opportunities in the area. Since they could provide a service to hospitals at a lower cost than a traditional locums agency, and likely also higher quality care (since more stringent screening can be done given that there is a margin of safety from the overhead the locums agency gets), it seems like not so much work.
     
  5. doc05

    doc05 2K Member 10+ Year Member

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    there's nothing wrong with what you propose, but keep in mind that getting a disparate group of physicians to work together will be as easy as herding cats.

    moreover, with multiple docs in multiple states, you add layers of complexity in all sorts of areas, esp. liability coverage. Before you know it, you're running another typical locums agency, and it will very hard to undercut the prevailing rates.
     
  6. zeloc

    zeloc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Anyone who is interested in starting this company together please send me a PM to discuss. I had already looked into many of the issues above including liability coverage. I also started a successful company before so this is not my first business/entrepreneurial endeavor.
     
  7. dannab

    dannab

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    Nov 18, 2015
    I am really interested in starting up a locum company pls get in touch.
     
    MedicalDoctorV likes this.
  8. dannab

    dannab

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    Nov 18, 2015
    pls get in touch will love to hear from you.
     
  9. dannab

    dannab

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    Nov 18, 2015
    I am really looking forward to hear from you Zeloc.
     
  10. zeloc

    zeloc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 22, 2003
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    A number of individuals have sent me private messages expressing interest, as I am not very active here I suggest you also PM the others who have posted in this thread and expressed interest, or further the discussion publicly.

    The benefit of a locums company, as I mentioned above, is in providing airfare, transportation, housing, malpractice insurance, assisting in submitting a state license (for out-of-state opportunities), and in having an inventory of available positions and times. For this, they are able to charge much higher rates to the hospital. However, I have not come across a hospital that likes to work with locums, because they have to pay so much more.

    I would be perfectly willing to handle my own airfare, transportation, medical license, and so on, and remove the middle person. Rather than starting a company, an easier way would be for a group of physicians of the same specialty (hospitalist, eg), to informally pool together into a network and find out about opportunities. Eg, if 10 hospitalists each called 10 hospitals and shared it in a secure spreadsheet, the inventory piece could be partially determined (eg, length of shift, open vs. closed ICU, availability, etc), and each person could decide where they would want to apply and handle their own travel/housing/application, interview, and so on.
     
    MedicalDoctorV likes this.
  11. zwmack

    zwmack 7+ Year Member

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    I'm so interested in starting an llc business with partners. There is a huge need for docs in CT and the money is very good for hospitalist medicine. Anyone interested in teaming up?
     
    MedicalDoctorV likes this.
  12. MedicalDoctorV

    MedicalDoctorV Internal Medicine Hospitalist 7+ Year Member

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    I've done locums work in 5 different states with 4 different agencies - and have flirted with the idea of starting my own locums company also.... These companies charge a 40%-100% commission with impunity- AND they get the hospital to reimburse them the airfare/housing/car rental that the physician needs. It is highway robbery!!! They also impose contract restrictions with 2 year non competes for converting to full time / per diem work outside the agency at that institution. You would think that anyone could just step in, undercut them, and take a large percentage of the market. However, that is not the case. As one medical director told me when I discussed why there has been no disruption - "They can charge this premium because companies like Weatherby and Vista and AMN will be able to fulfill your demand because they have such a large roster of physicians. If your hospital needs locums, it is an emergency survival situation / hospital having safe staffing to remain open - so money is a secondary factor."

    Anyway, Zeloc hit the nail on the head. The only way to compete with the incumbents is to come up with a large enough group - probably in a focused geographic area, and be able to guarantee 365 days a year, night and day coverage in the specialty you're interested in. I am a hospitalist with NJ, NY, ME and MA licenses, and would be willing to team up with other hospitalists in these states.

    To address the specialties I have no experience with i.e. ER, behavioral health, primary care and ObGyn, I've actually recently started prelim talks with a tech entrepreneur to start an online marketplace to cut out the middleman completely. I think it is against policy to 'advertise' on SDN, so PM me for further details if you want to hear more.... Basically in addition to a (hopefully) greater hourly rate for physicians, we also plan to 'profit share' with any docs involved by offering bonuses every week in addition to the money you earn for clinical work. Think nomadhealth or luciditydirect with dramatically lower commissions charged to hospitals, but with the added benefit of profit sharing for docs....
     

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