Tag Archives: SpineSearch

SpineSearch at NASS 2011

SpineSearch at NASS 2011
SpineSearch was on hand last week at the North American Spine Society’s 26th Annual Meeting in Chicago. Nicola Hawkinson, CEO, moderated two discussions: Allied Health Track Session—Healthcare Reform and Beyond, and PA/NP Track Breakout Session—Failed Back and cervical Spine. I was able to take in the Young Spine Surgeons forum for a short time while manning our booth. Thank you to the fellows and attending surgeons who stopped by to meet with me to discuss the job market and practice opportunities. We would also like to thank our clients, and industry colleagues for all of their feedback. We look forward to working with you in the future, and to the NASS meeting in Dallas next year.

Calling all Chief Orthopedic and Neurological Surgery Residents

Calling all Chief Orthopedic and Neurological Surgery Residents
SpineSearch is excited about a unique recruitment project, and thrilled to be partnering with a highly esteemed orthopedic teaching facility in the southern US to refer PGY5 orthopedic surgery residents, chief neurosurgery residents, general orthopedic surgery fellows and attending orthopedic surgeons to attend an ACMGE accredited spine fellowship program to commence August 2012.
The fellowship offers physicians the opportunity to train in an academic environment that functions as a private clinic. Over 10 faculty surgeons in the institute treat degenerative, spinal deformities and traumatic injuries to the spine. The setting and environment are also conducive to learning the business aspects of starting and running a practice.
This opportunity is also open to International Medical Graduates who have completed a minimum of 2 years of consecutive post-graduate training in the US at an ACGME accredited program (typically Fellowships) in an orthopedic surgery specialty. Valid ECFMG, completion and pass scores on all three USMLE exams also required.
The institute is offering a compensation package in the range of 80K, depending on the amount of shared ER call taken, in addition to 10 days paid vacation. Further, 8 paid days are offered for CME and to attend conferences.
The facility is located in a charming southern town, with warm weather and a low cost of living. It is an easy commute to major metropolitan areas, has excellent school systems and a variety of activities to pursue. A 6-month program is also being offered for attending orthopedic surgeons who are looking to add spine to their practice.
Interested parties should contact Tom.sullivan@spine-search for more information.

Have a Retention Plan in Place Before Recruitment Begins!

Have a Retention Plan in Place Before Recruitment Begins

You’ve spent thousands of dollars to recruit a physician for your practice, invited the doctor for site visits, paid advertising costs, legal and agency fees, and a slew of other expenses; but, after the honeymoon is over, and the contract is up, the physician decides to move on. Annually, about 10% of them do seek opportunities elsewhere. Not only have you lost the money you have invested to recruit, credential and on-board the physician, but now the loss of potential revenue looms—which can be in the high 6 to 7 figures respectively.

Among the physicians who leave a group, nearly half do so within the first 3 years. Why do they leave? There are common reasons. Often, job expectations are not made clear during the recruitment process. Typically these include: the amount of patients seen on a given day, call schedule, in-patient responsibilities, and the expectation to work on weekends and evenings. The most common reason, however, is that they may feel as though they are just not the right ‘fit’ with the other physicians in the group.

One way to insure that a recruit would be a good fit with the group, is to establish what the common values of the group are, and convey those to the candidate during the recruitment process. Also, involve other physicians in the practice in the interview process to determine if the candidate would be a good fit. Some may say that the best retention strategy is to hire the right physician in the first place.
Some issues are more challenging: feeling unappreciated, no involvement in the decision making process, no opportunity for partnership. And some things can’t be avoided, like the desire to be closer to family. But turnover is costly; therefore have a retention plan in place before recruitment begins. There are many success stories out there, but develop a plan that is unique for your practice; one size does not fit all. Have a plan that is at least a three year process. Start by providing enough startup resources, a mentor, and feedback which is crucial in the early stages.

SpineSearch receives national certification as Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Presidents’ Educational Organization

PRESS RELEASE

Date August 4, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Nicola Hawkinson
Office: 646-794-8656
Fax: 212-208-3084
Nicola@spine-search.com

New York, NY – August 4, 2011 – SpineSearch LLC, a business specializing in, recruitment, educational, and marketing services for spine practices, received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization – New York Certification Committee, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

WBENC’s national standard of certification implemented by the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization – New York Certification Committee is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.

By including women-owned businesses among their vendors, corporations, and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier/vendor diversity programs.

To learn more about SpineSearch LLC, please visit www.spine-search.com

About SpineSearch LLC
The SpineSearch mission is steadfast in providing a superior network between highly qualified healthcare professionals, spine specialists, and healthcare facilities. Our vision is to provide a cutting edge network within the spine field and its professionals. We are focused exclusively to the field of spine medicine and offer a unique level of expertise in the spine industry.
SpineSearch is an organization that provides recruitment, educational, and marketing services for spine practices. SpineSearch is led by experts in the industry who are knowledgeable about every dimension of the field. We invoke a commitment to those employed in the industry, offering continued education and career building symposiums, focusing on job satisfaction and decreased turnover. A community network of spine professionals dedicated to the future of spine, truly a revolutionary “way of spine”.

About WBENC
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is the nation’s largest third party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the United States. WBENC is a resource for the more than 700 US companies and government agencies that rely on WBENC’s certification as an integral part of their supplier diversity programs.

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Q & A on How to ensure your practice can compete in the competitive physician recruiting landscape

Hiring a new physician for your practice is more complicated than it used to be

How does the current physician shortage affect medical practices?

Currently employed physicians are working longer hours and have to cover call more frequently — This all equates to higher compensation for recruited physicians, both senior and new.

How many calls does the average graduating resident receive and how does a hiring group compete for those new graduates?

According to MGMA over half of graduating residents receive between 51-100 solicitations. If you work with a hiring firm such as SpineSearch it will bring your practice more attention. SpineSearch attends many national events geared at Residents & Fellows and when they are looking for candidates with a retained job in hand your practice has very good exposure in this competitive, physician, hiring landscape.

Who can a medical group partner with to help cover recruitment costs?

The recruitment arrangement exception allows practices to seek assistance from a hospital under the Stark Laws prohibiting physician self-referral. This allows your medical group to seek assistance, when hiring physicians and offering competitive packages which may include medical school debt repayment assistance, guaranteed salary, paying recruitment firm fees, or continuing education allowances.

What are some ways to separate yourself from all the others competing for the tight physician pool?

New Physicians are not only looking for a job but also to see the total package that will help them succeed in their new practice

1. Offer guidance in new methods of patient acquisition such as social media (FaceBook, Twitter, Patient Blogs….)

2. Offer guidance in new methods to work with referring physicians using new media (LinkedIn, Physician facing Blogs, writing for online patient facing websites & peer review websites …)

3. Provide some assistance with the groups general marketing practices….One of the scariest things to new physicians is how to gain a patient base that will substantiate their pay

Keep in mind when hiring new physicians
It’s not always easy

Selecting the right physician candidate for your practice is never easy, and there’s always an element of the surprise. Taking this into consideration you can increase your odds for success by carefully evaluating each candidate in relationship to the needs of the practice and the specific position you have to offer.

One example: Work-life balance has been cited numerous times, by many publications, as one of the most important considerations among young physicians. According to multiple surveys the number of physicians who choose to work part-time and or flex time has increased dramatically in recent years. More doctors are likely to be women who, historically and statistically, will be more likely to seek part-time or flex-time working environments. These women are talented doctors and just because they are looking for flex time shouldn’t mean to ignore them. This actually presents a very interesting hiring tool when trying to effecentiely and economically staff your practice. The industry has an ever increasing gender shift and medical practices have to remember new physicians are planning families.

The Signing Bonus in Physician Recruitment

The Signing Bonus in Physician Recruitment

What once was an incentive offered to a physician, on occasion, for hard-to-fill jobs – signing bonuses for new physician hires have become not only the norm, but are expected (AMMED News 6-9-11). Not having a signing bonus in place is often looked upon, by a candidate, as an extreme negative. How does an employer stand out from the crowd to land a recruit in this highly competitive environment?

In addition to the cash bonus, which averages about $23,000, other incentives include relocation costs, CME expenses, housing allowances, and student loan forgiveness.

Can a facility that has only a few, or no such incentives in place to land a recruit, actually compete with the ones who are stacked with benefits and bonuses to offer? Unequivocally, yes.

Although it is becoming increasingly more difficult in this market, we must keep in mind that not all candidates are motivated by monetary rewards. Work-life balance, community, and meaningful employment opportunities for spouses and family members are examples of other factors that ultimately lead to a successful hire, and retainable physician. If money is the principle motivator, beware! Who is to say that candidates will stay, when deeper pockets start calling on them?

As recruiters we must look at the total package that a facility and community can offer; compensation is only part of the landscape.

Tom Sullivan
Vice President of Recruitment
SpineSearch LLC
tom.sullivan@spine-search.com

Tips for keeping your medical staff HAPPY!

Tips for keeping your medical employees HAPPY!

1. Clearly defined job descriptions and clearly defined chain of command

Many medical practices often delegate responsibilities in a very informal manner/process. This is a recipe for disaster in any large practice and or growing practice. Consider listing project priorities for your practice that are receiving attention because you’re working around staff that haven’t previously had defined job rolls and or responsibilities. SpineSearch recommends creating an organizational chart and chain of command diagram and a job description for every roll within your office.

2.Establishment of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

A formal system includes employee goals, assessments of substantive accomplishments and behaviors, peer reviews, goals and prioritities, support needed from our staff. KPIs are important so employees know, before undertaking the job or project, exactly what is needed to be done and what an acceptable outcome is.

3. Reward those who go above and beyond
Reward those that work extra hours, are extremely resourceful, and or go outside of their job description to complete tasks for the office. Monetary rewards are not always the most successful. Try giving half days, dinner on the office, peer recognition…and don’t limit the rewards to individuals. Your office should also have team goals/descriptions — these groups can and should be rewarded.

4. Continuing education / opportunity for self improvement & advancement

In this era of health care reform it is extremely challenging to keep up with changing laws, regulations, reimbursement guidelines, daily operations and daily practice demands. By keeping employees current in each of their individual fields it helps to ensure the entire office is up to par with changes. This process also helps let employees know that you are investing in them and the betterment of their individual careers. Don’t just focus on clinical or required education. Look for education on customer service, disaster planning, patient flow, time management….

5. Have Fun!

FUN in the job place can go a lot longer than most administrators would think. Celebrate events such as birthdays, anniversaries, child birth, holidays and office specific accomplishments. If you are undergoing a big task, such as converting to an EMR system, order food for the office, give a small gift to each member of the team before the process begins (thanking them for their committing to the successful accomplishment of the task), or go out for an office dinner/drinks as a FUN event.

Physician Employment Trends – 2011

Physician Employment Trends- 2011
More Physicians Seek Hospital Employed Model
According to a new survey from Accenture (NYSE:ACN), more physicians will continue to leave their private practices to seek hospital employed positions this year. Their survey shows the rate of independent physicians employed by health systems will increase 5% over the next three years, and by 2013 less than 1/3 of physicians will remain truly independent (NY Business Wire).
As a physician recruiter I speak with more and more physicians seeking hospital employed positions after their practices have suffered due to the economic downturn. Further, many do not want to deal with the administrative headaches that running a private practice can bring, any longer.
For some candidates, a hospital employed position can provide greater stability in a fragile economic environment, offer the latest in technology and equipment and provide a better work-life balance.
There are many innovative ways for hospitals to recruit and retain these candidates in this environment. One is to employ a specialist firm to network and source candidates from this expanding talent pool. As an education, consulting and recruitment company, SpineSearch has a unique place in the fields of Orthopedics, Neurosurgery , Neurology and Pain Management; offering industry leading expertise to hospital clients seeking new talent, and providing opportunities for those physicians seeking new challenges.

Tom Sullivan
Vice President of Recruitment
SpineSearch LLC
tom.sullivan@spine-search.com

Retention Management in the Era of Health Care Reform

Retention Management in the Era of Health Care Reform

Press Release: SpineSearch is looking forward to an interactive discussion with fellow colleagues at this week’s Becker’s conference in Chicago where we will discuss common challenges in staff retention. SpineSearch would like to Thank Scott Becker and Jessica Cole for the opportunity to present this discussion.
http://www.beckersasc.com/conferences/june-2011-asc-conference.html

Creating Brochures for Doctor’s Offices

“Differentiation” is the key in creating a Brand. So why is it that most Doctor’s Brochures are viewed as a consumable expense and look just like any other professional practice or organization brochures? Homogenizing is BORING! Your positioning must be unique and you can’t be everything to everyone, so why try to be? You want to appeal to as many in your target market as possible. You must recognizee someone will be left out – That is OK.

Brochure vs. Patient Education is completely different and we will argue they should be separate. Education does just that educates and informs (general/homogenized/plain vanilla….is ok) brochures motivate people to become your clients. Unless you are the only Doctor in the geographic area choosing a surgeon is a very emotional process – patients choose a surgeon emotionally and justify logically. Brochures need to sell from the heart not the head. Both visuals and words sell the emotion.