While locum tenens and working as an independent contractor in emergency medicine can help you regain some autonomy in your career, it can also be overwhelming and fraught with opaque and frequently downright predatory practices by locum companies and recruiters.
After a comprehensive RFP and vetting process, the AAEM-LG has partnered with a highly reputable independently-owned locum company, Burlington Healthcare Providers (BHP) and have negotiated a commitment to enhanced transparency and ethical practices without increasing the margin collected.
If you're interested in locum tenens with BHP, please contact them!
Why can’t I work with a hospital or ER group directly?
You can! And we fully support your choice. But there are several challenges. Hospitals often lack the mechanism to pay you as an independent contractor (if this is desired), while AAEM-LG with BHP can provide this mechanism. Obtaining short-term medical malpractice insurance may also be complicated. AAEM-LG with BHP can help streamline the process of credentialing, med-mal, reimbursement, and travel. Finally, many physicians simply feel uncomfortable negotiating fair pay for themselves. A (transparent) locum company can advocate for a fair rate without placing you in that position. Basically, we feel that locum companies do provide some real value, but what you are paying for should be transparent and reasonable. If you are not dissuaded and enjoy negotiating directly, then AAEM-LG fully supports what is best for the bedside emergency physician.
What does AAEM-LG and BHP promise to the bedside emergency physician?
When Matt Bratz, RN purchased Burlington Healthcare Providers, he pioneered the use of a flat, transparent $30/hour margin, feeling that the industry standard of trying to low-ball physicians to maximize short-term profits was exploitative. AAEM-LG and BHP were able to negotiate an agreement to enhance both fiscal and clinical transparency without increasing this rate by one dime. Specifically, Burlington Healthcare Providers will:
- BHP will provide a one-page business transparency sheet (similar to the truth in lending act) to all prospective emergency physicians with a standardized breakdown of the bill-rate (the amount the hospital or ED group is charged), the margin (a flat $30/hr), medical malpractice details, policy for travel and lodging reimbursement, payment policy
- BHP will provide a one-page site-specific clinical transparency sheet standardized by AAEM-LG. This is intended to prevent a sentiment of “bait and switch”, regarding the clinical environment. Items disclosed will include the hospital and medical director, employment model of the full-time physicians (hospital employee vs independent group, vs contract management group), ER annual volumes and physician coverage (ABEM, FM etc.), Supervision requirements of non-physician practitioners (eg. are locum physicians responsible for co-signing NPP charts of patients they have not seen?), and responsibilities that may fall out of the typical EM scope or outside of the emergency department such as responding to in-house codes, intubations, or covering admitted patients, and finally, major specialty limitations.
- Provide due process for emergency physicians (to the extent possible for a short-term contract) including guaranteed payment for canceled assignments within 30 days of the assignment start dates for reasons other than gross negligence.
- Provide occurrence-based or claims-made with tail or claims-made with prior acts medical malpractice coverage renewed in perpetuity invoiced as a separate line-item to the hospital or ED client.
What predatory practices has AAEM-LG and its partner, BHP committed not to do?
BHP will not present any prospective emergency physician to a site without their explicit written permission. BHP will not implement any non-compete agreements into the contract between BHP and the prospective emergency physician beyond a site-specific buyout.