Healthcare Travel Contracts Questions

One of the reasons I became involved in the medical staffing industry was to lead a better brand of recruiting services. One of the issues I have heard about consistently is the discrepancy in the advertisement of pay to a medical worker compared to they receive in their actual paychecks.

Not to call into question the actions of other agencies, I would like to share how healthcare professionals looking for contract work can ask pertinent questions about their assignment before they even start. Some assignments have quick starts, where the credentialing process is shortened; but this does not mean that the interview process should be rushed. There are good questions to ask not only to the recruiter but also the hiring manager.

Guaranteed Hours – How many hours a week are scheduled in the contract? The posting may indicate outrageous pay, but how does that relate to each week. An understanding of the total amount of hours is clearly needed.

Guaranteed Contracts – Most contracts are 13 weeks, but some are guaranteed for a shorter length of time. This is especially pertinent as we go from winter into spring and the weather and overall health conditions improve. The contractor may not be needed for the entire 13 weeks and may only get a 7-week guarantee. In short, the facility may only guarantee the shorter time length.

Holiday Pay – Not all holidays are paid. There should be defined days in the contract for pay and which specific hours.

On Call Requirements – Some facilities require that contracted travelers work on call. This is something that should be asked, especially if you are planning to be at home or away from the area on other days.

Overtime Hours – In some cases, recruiters will combine overtime hours with pay in their advertising. Overtime may be needed for certain weeks; but again, they are needed for the entire length of the contract.

Reimbursements – This should also be outlined in the contract and when they will be paid. For example, some remote hospitals will offer a perk that housing will be provided. It may be a hotel or an apartment. In every case, the candidate should ask who is paying for the housing upfront and if there are any out of pocket expenses (like parking or cleaning ) to pay for.

These questions can clear up critical things about the assignment and prevent frustration over the first paycheck. It is also good to set expectations in the beginning; that way you understand the role, term, pay, hours, and if anything else is needed regarding the job.

I want to be a trusted resource for traveling healthcare workers, so if there are questions, please feel free to call.

Dane Flanigan

Why Contract Workers can be a plus for Profitability

When a company hires an employee, immediate costs are involved from basic pay to several types of insurance – even benefits and a 401k. There are direct out-of-pocket expenses, and the new employee needs to take time to readjust and contribute. Although they have shown long-term viability with the company, the ramp up period is not immediate. With a contract worker, someone hired on a temporary or project basis can have an instant impact on the bottom line.

The contract worker and the organization have the same goal in mind: complete the immediate task at hand and be compensated for the job by the client. A full-time employee can have the same goals but at times, their thought process is often more directed to their position and the long-term company health. If a short-term employee fails to deliver one day or even one hour, they can be fired on the spot, so they are always thinking about putting their best foot forward and having the best work to show.

Companies tend to underestimate the ramp up period for employees. It takes time to adjust, get to know the work, the system, and the other people in the building to give a poignant opinion. A temporary worker is gauged by how quickly they are able to adjust and adapt to these surroundings or totally ignore them. They want to succeed because they have work experience in similar companies, often in the same high-pressure situations.

When the work is overflowing, contract workers maintain customer service and production. They can work odd hours – weekends and holidays – while preventing the burnout of full-time employees. Plus, when a company has a lot of work, it is hard to accept work from new customers such that they must find a solution. A busy period is a good fit for contract workers since the payroll may not be ideal for more year-round employment.

Contract workers may have a particular skill that is good for a certain client but not for the long term. Hiring specialty workers who are not good for all product lines can get expensive if you cannot use their skills every day. Adding someone temporary to fill a role will help you retain the client and build revenue.

In short, temporary workers do have an immediate impact on the bottom line. While they are not always a good solution long term, they are for certain instances such as company growth, niche clients, and relieving full-time employees.

By Dane Flanigan

ultraHealth Agency

Medical Staffing – Beyond Expectations