The High Cost of Low Wages

Hospitals and healthcare systems continue to search for opportunities to save money and strengthen the bottom line. This introduces an important question: Can strategies used to drive down the cost of medical supplies apply to talent acquisition?

Traditionally, the supply chain strategy for cost containment includes vendor consolidation and volume-based contracting. For example, purchasing the same hip implant for $2,100 instead of $6,000 creates significant savings and the discounted product poses no risk to quality patient care.

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However, this strategy does not easily apply to people, including contingent clinical talent. Here’s why: Unlike the purchase of a hip implant, a less-qualified clinician can negatively impact the quality of patient care. In turn, this can create potentially negative consequences in several areas, including:

  • Clinical outcomes
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Reimbursement
  • The healthcare brand

A clear correlation exists between the quality of a clinical candidate and fair-market compensation. The more qualified and experienced a candidate is, the less likely he or she is to accept (or even apply for) a position at a “discounted rate.” This market-driven reality is further punctuated by the fact that jobs continue to outnumber viable candidates. In the current market, quality contingent clinicians have multiple opportunities – and the upper hand.

Maintaining a flexible mix of temporary and permanent clinical staff is a necessary strategic response to maintaining the healthcare setting in a climate defined by a progressive shortage of clinicians and a payor system transitioning to value-based reimbursement. From this perspective, it is prudent to consider that when bargain shopping for clinical talent, you might just get what you pay for.

MORE: The State of Healthcare Recruitment: A Conversation with Rachel Mayse of Pride Health

Mike Daeges

Mike Daeges
Mike Daeges is a national account executive at workforce solutions company Medical Solutions. Mike works in the MSP division:

Mike Daeges

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