All Medical Healthcare Staffing

HHS Funding for Health Centers Supports ACA Enrollment

June 24th, 2013

As the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) moves forward, new federal funding has been made available to help uninsured Americans understand their options, determine their eligibility, and obtain insurance coverage.  Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced that $150 million will be made available to help community health centers provide in-person enrollment assistance to uninsured individuals across the nation.

With these funds, health centers will be able to hire new staff, train existing staff, and conduct community outreach events and other educational activities.  They will provide information to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplace, qualified health plans, and Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

There are approximately 1,200 health centers operating nearly 9,000 service delivery sites nationwide and serving approximately 21 million patients each year. “Health centers work in communities across the country, giving them a unique opportunity to reach the uninsured in their communities and help connect them with the benefits of health insurance coverage under the health care law,” said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, Ph.D, R.N.

This funding by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), complements and aligns with other federal efforts, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service funded navigator program that supports consumers in states that have federally facilitated or partnership exchanges.  Sebelius said the new funding announcement is part of the administration’s effort to make applying for health insurance as easy as possible.  For example, HHS has streamlined the coverage application from 21 to 3 pages.

“Health centers have extensive experience providing eligibility assistance to patients, are providing care in communities across the nation, and are well-positioned to support enrollment efforts,” Sebelius said.  “Investing in health centers for outreach and enrollment assistance provides one more way the administration is helping consumers understand their options and enroll in affordable coverage.”

Should NP scope-of-practice laws be revised?

June 3rd, 2013

Throughout the country, nurse practitioners (NPs) are playing a key role in delivering primary care services. NPs are registered nurses trained at the graduate level, with a specialization in primary care, acute care or psychiatric/mental health nursing, sometimes with a focus on pediatrics, adult/gerontology or women’s health.

With the Affordable Care Act expanding insurance coverage in 2014, NPs will continue to be in high demand in a variety of settings. However, state scope-of-practice laws are putting limits on practice opportunities for NPs and may influence payer policies, according to a recent report from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) for the nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR).

According to the study, state scope-of-practice laws vary widely in the level of physician oversight required for nurse practitioners, with some of the eight states surveyed allowing NPs to practice independently, and others limiting their authority to diagnose, treat and prescribe medications to patients without supervision.  For example, Arizona allows NPs to practice independently, while Arkansas requires direct physician supervision of NP diagnoses, treatment and prescribing.

States with more restrictive scope-of-practice laws were associated with more challenging environments for NPs to bill public and private payers, order certain tests, and establish independent primary care practices, according to the study. “Scope-of-practice laws in and of themselves don’t appear to limit what primary care services patients can receive from nurse practitioners, but requirements for documented physician supervision do appear to impact where and how NPs can practice,” said Tracy Yee, Ph.D., coauthor of the study, “Primary Care Workforce Shortages: Nurse Practitioner Scope-of-Practice Laws and Payment Policies.”

Many NP respondents reported that payer policies had more of an impact than scope-of-practice laws on how and where they can practice. Payers determine what services NPs are paid for, their payment rates, whether NPs are designated as primary care providers and assigned their own patient panels, and whether NPs can be paid directly. Restrictive scope-of-practice laws, in conjunction with strict payer policies, reportedly limit NPs to working as employees of physician practices, hospitals or other entities rather than in their own independent practices.

Federal Grants to Support AEDs in Rural Areas

May 28th, 2013

From hospitals to offices, malls, hotels, schools, airports, sports stadiums and countless other venues, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are preventing deaths from sudden cardiac arrest.  By automatically analyzing the heart’s rhythm and delivering an electrical shock if necessary, an AED can keep adults and children alive until paramedics or other emergency responders arrive on the scene.  With their simple directions, AEDs can be used by almost any adult, as well as by trained professionals.

To promote the dissemination and use of AEDs throughout the country, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy recently launched a grant program to pay for the purchase of AEDs, provide defibrillator and basic life support training and place AEDs in rural communities with local organizations.  Applications are due June 17, for the Rural Access to Emergency Devices (RAED) Grant Program, which is expected to fund approximately seven programs up to $200,000 per year for a three-year project period. (For more on this funding opportunity, click here.)

Sudden cardiac arrest affects more than 350,000 people annually in the United States, and an AED is an effective tool for restoring regular heart rhythm.  The American Red Cross believes that improved training and access to AEDs could save 50,000 lives each year, and that all Americans should be within four minutes of an AED and someone trained to use it.

Because of the life-saving importance of AEDs, physician groups, hospitals and other healthcare organizations should by sure to provide ongoing training to their internal personnel, as well as offer outreach programs to local civic and business groups.  After all, almost every office building, retail center, hotel or warehouse should have an AED available for use in a readily accessible location. Launching AED placement and training initiatives also creates opportunities for healthcare organizations to build broader, long-term relationships with local partners that benefit everyone in their communities.

Looking for Locums!

May 13th, 2013

As positions for healthcare professionals open throughout the country, All Medical Personnel is looking for locum tenens physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.  Now, our nationwide healthcare staffing firm is kicking off a new provider referral initiative at the Florida Medical Group Management Association (FMGMA)’s annual conference this week in Orlando.

When you introduce your colleagues to All Medical Personnel, you can now make up to $500 per introduction.  With the new program, “The Buck Starts with a Great Referral,” you simply complete a referral form available on our new microsite, –  All Medical Personnel will pay you $500 for each introduction to a physician and $250 for each introduction to physician assistants and nurse practitioners who work 20 or more days with our firm or take a permanent position with one of our clients.

Once you make a referral, we will contact the candidate and discuss open locum tenens positions and career opportunities.  When the candidate completes at least 20 days (160 hours) worked with All Medical (within one year of the date of introduction), you will be eligible for your bonus.  We will keep you informed of the candidate’s eligibility status. We reserve the right to cancel the referral program at any time.

For physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, locum tenens assignments offer variety, providing opportunities to practice skills in a new clinical setting and serve a different patient population.  Many locum tenens physicians also enjoy a change of pace in their lifestyle, such as spending a month or two in a vacation-oriented community.

Other advantages include flexibility in scheduling. That might mean working a new shift, taking a temporary assignment for several weeks or moving to a new location for several months or longer.  A locum tenens assignment can also help professionals find a healthy balance between work and family responsibilities.

If you know a professional interested in locum tenens opportunities, contact All Medical Personnel today, and remember, “The Buck Starts with a Great Referral!”

Corporate Healthcare – A New Growth Niche

May 6th, 2013

As a growing niche in the U.S. market, corporate healthcare offers new business opportunities for physicians, hospitals and other providers.  Many organizations – particularly Fortune 500 companies and other large employers – are opening their own healthcare clinics and expanding their on-site wellness programs in order to reduce costs, improve productivity and attract new talent.

In the past two years, corporate giants like Intel, HP and Michelin have invested millions of dollars into setting up employee clinics on their main campuses.  Other regional and local employers are also expanding their on-site healthcare programs in order to stake out a competitive advantage.  In many cases, these employers find it easier to partner with well-established hospitals or healthcare systems that can provide “brand-name” care to their employees.

However, some large companies are taking a different approach, expanding their human resource divisions and hiring physicians, nurses, nutritionists, and other professionals directly. In many cases, these employers turn to staffing firms like All Medical Personnel for assistance in planning their programs and for providing temporary staffing to get them underway.

When developing corporate healthcare programs, it’s important to survey employees and their families to determine what services are most likely to be utilized.  For instance, a recent study by the Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington, D.C., found that users of corporate clinic services most commonly sought vaccinations and other minor, routine services instead of care for chronic conditions.  When asked the primary purpose of their clinic visits, 63.7 percent of survey respondents in 2010 cited vaccinations.

Employers should also take a careful look at their insurance premiums and other financial outlays to build programs that offer the “biggest bang for the buck.”  For instance, corporate clinics and wellness programs could provide employees with incentives to address obesity, one of the nation’s most serious and costly health problems.  In any case, corporate healthcare is likely to grow in importance in the next decade, opening the doors to new partnerships, alliances and career opportunities.

New Study: Healthcare Coverage Still Makes Sense for Large Employers

April 22nd, 2013

Providing workers with healthcare coverage still makes economic sense for large employers.  However, there are fewer incentives for smaller employers to offer coverage in the new era of healthcare reform.  That was the key message in a new national study for the nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Reform.

The study, led by University of Minnesota researcher Jean Abraham, who worked with the Center for Studying Health System Change, calculated the economic incentives for employers offering coverage to active workers before and after health reform implementation in 2014.   The analysis used data from the 2008-2010 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

“The findings indicate that the economic incentives to offer coverage will remain strong under health reform for many businesses, especially larger, higher-wage firms,” Abraham said. “But they will weaken for small and low-wage employers – the very establishments that already were most likely to drop coverage because of rising costs.”

For the nation’s healthcare providers, the study points to the importance of regular verification of current insurance coverage, particularly for patients working for smaller businesses that might decide to drop this benefit. If so, there could well be a significant time lag before the patient purchases coverage from another source.

The institute’s study found that pre-reform, all businesses had an economic incentive to offer health insurance because the U.S. government gave preferential tax treatment for both employer and employee premium contributions.  Post-reform, employer premium contributions remain tax exempt.  In addition, two new policies take effect in 2014: a penalty on larger employers that do not offer affordable health insurance, and premium tax credits for lower-income people to purchase insurance in new state exchanges if they lack access to affordable employer coverage.

In the pre-reform period, the economic incentives of employers to offer health insurance were all positive and increased with firm size.  After reform implementation in 2014, the largest firms with 500 or more workers will continue to have a strong economic incentive, with an average incentive of $2,503 per employee, according to the analysis.  However, the smallest firms with fewer than 50 workers will face lower economic incentives – an average of $990  – in the post-reform period, in large part because these smaller employers will be exempt from the penalty.

Wondering About Locum Tenens Opportunities?

April 8th, 2013

With summer approaching, many health care administrators in Florida and across the country are wondering about vacation staffing issues and the benefits of locum tenens programs. At the same time, many physicians are also considering the advantages of taking a temporary position during the peak vacation season through a locum tenens placement.

To answer those questions, All Medical Personnel’s staffing professionals will be on the scene at the Florida Medical Group Management Association (FMGMA)’s annual conference, May 13-15, 2013, at the Caribe Royale in Orlando.  The event will bring together hundreds of administrators and other professionals who belong to MGMA, a well-established organization whose mission is to improve the effectiveness of medical group practices in Florida and the skills of the individuals who manage or lead them.

As a member of MGMA, All Medical Personnel contributes to advancing that mission by providing a wide range of staffing programs, including temporary or long-term locum tenens placements for physicians and other healthcare professionals.  For administrators, locum tenens staffing can meet increases in seasonal demand for services or fill gaps in coverage due to vacations, extended illness, or other causes.

For physicians and other professionals, locum tenens assignments offer variety, providing opportunities to practice skills in a new clinical setting and serve a different patient population.  Many locum tenens physicians also enjoy a change of pace in their lifestyle, such as spending a month or two in a coastal, vacation-oriented community.  Other advantages include flexibility in scheduling.  That might mean working a new shift, taking a temporary assignment for several weeks or moving to a new location for several months or longer.  A locum tenens assignment can also help professionals find a healthy balance between work and family responsibilities.

To find out more about summer staffing options, visit All Medical Personnel’s booth at MGMA2013. For more information on the conference, go to:

ACA Changes Five Key Insurance Rules

March 25th, 2013

In a step that will affect healthcare organizations throughout the country, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a final rule implementing five key consumer protections from the Affordable Care Act. Under the rule, all individuals and employers have the right to purchase health insurance coverage regardless of health status.  In addition, insurers are prevented from charging discriminatory rates to individuals and small employers based on factors such as health status or gender, and young adults have additional affordable coverage options under catastrophic plans.

For providers, the HHS rule is expected to increase demand for healthcare services from the more than 30 million Americans who are currently uninsured for one reason or another.  Now, the HHS is mandating that most health plans include the following key provisions by 2014:

  • Guaranteed availability. Nearly all health insurance companies offering coverage to individuals and employers will be required to sell health insurance policies to all consumers. No one can be denied health insurance because of current or prior illness.
  • Fair health insurance premiums. Health insurance companies offering coverage to individuals and small employers will only be allowed to vary premiums based on age, tobacco use, family size, and geography.  Basing premiums on other factors will be illegal.  The factors that are no longer permitted in 2014 include health status, past insurance claims, gender, occupation, how long an individual has held a policy, or size of the small employer.
  • Guaranteed renewability. Health insurers can no longer refuse to renew coverage because an individual or an employee has become sick.  Consumers have the option to renew coverage.
  • Single risk pool. Health insurers will no longer be able to charge higher premiums to higher cost enrollees by moving them into separate risk pools.  Insurers are required to maintain a single statewide risk pool for the individual market and single statewide risk pool for the small group market.
  • Catastrophic plans. Consumers will have access to a catastrophic plan in the individual market.  Catastrophic plans generally have lower premiums, protect against high out-of-pocket costs, and cover recommended preventive services without cost sharing.

With these rules slated to go into effect in 2014, hospitals, physician groups and other providers should begin planning how to address the likely increase in patient volume in the new state and national healthcare climate.

Boost Your Health Career with a ‘Double-Major’

March 4th, 2013

It’s not uncommon for ambitious college students with multiple interests to go for a double major.  That could provide a new graduate with solid credentials in marketing or finance, for example, along with a liberal arts major like English, history or sociology.  Having a degree with a double major can certainly help attract the attention of employers since it shows your interest in learning as well as your willingness to work hard to earn your degree.

The same type of thinking can help you get off to a good start in healthcare or take your professional career to a new level.  Even if you don’t have an official double-major, you can still differentiate yourself from other new graduates by pointing out a wide set of classes and experiences.  If you’re applying for a nursing position, for example, why not emphasize your strong skills in Spanish or French, for example.  If you’re seeking an entry-level laboratory technician position, you could improve your chances by talking about your management experience in a summer retail job.  In any case, being able to bring something “extra” beyond the formal requirements can be a big help in landing that first position in healthcare – and to keep your career moving forward in the future.

Having a strong set of skills in a non-healthcare field can also help you make a career transition into this growing field.  Let’s say, you’ve spent your last ten years working in an accounting, sales, marketing or IT firm and are ready to try something new.  Today, there are plenty of opportunities in healthcare for professionals who know budgeting, accounting, billing, coding and collecting.  Health systems, hospitals and physician groups – as well as healthcare IT companies – are looking for skilled sales, marketing and public relations professionals.  In fact, the need for skilled professionals will only accelerate as federal healthcare reform gradually reshapes the delivery of services.  So, if you can bring a double major or a wide set of skills to a healthcare position at any level, you can dramatically improve your chances of being hired.  Good luck!

New Mobile App Helps Prevent Heart Disease

February 25th, 2013

If you are wondering where the U.S. healthcare sector is headed, think about mobility.  An explosion of new mobile applications (apps) is helping patients and families use their smart phones and tablets to connect with physicians, hospitals and other providers.  Perhaps most importantly, these new mobile apps have the potential to support wellness and disease prevention, shifting the focus away from acute patient care, while providing more effective monitoring of costly chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension.

One recent example is Heart Health Mobile,  a free mobile app created by the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation as part of a nationwide competition in support of its “Million Hearts” initiative. “The foundation has created an app to give people easy access to some of the most advanced health care analytics available to learn the factors that put them at risk for heart attacks and how to prevent them,” said Farzad Mostashari, M.D., the national coordinator for health information technology. “People can now get information about their risk and share what they know with their doctor to better manage their heart health.”

Heart Health Mobile, which can be downloaded from iTunes, provides information about  a person’s risk for heart disease based on answers to questions about height, weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking status.  In areas with participating pharmacies and other retail clinics, the app steers users to convenient locations for cholesterol and blood-pressure screening.  A feature that tracks users’ histories allows people to easily see if they have made progress as they work to lose weight or lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Along with the regular app, Heart Health Mobile has an innovative feature that allows users to play a “game,” earning points for completed tasks and awards for tracking their heart health and reaching their targets.  As Simon M. Lin, M.D., director of the foundation’s Biomedical Informatics Research Center, said, “As health care moves rapidly toward preventing disease, technology such as Heart Health Mobile can help people take charge of their health.”