Physician Recruitment Services for Community Hospitals
Physician recruitment remains a top priority for community hospitals due to increasing demand for healthcare services and a nationwide physician shortage. In such a competitive market, small and rural hospitals in particular encounter difficulties conducting an effective search because they lack the resources, personnel and technology needed to attract and recruit physicians to their communities. This is where Community Hospital Corporation (CHC) can help. Extending far beyond the physician search, physician recruitment services offered by CHC Consulting, the management and consulting arm of CHC, is a customized and budget-friendly alternative to traditional recruiting firms.
The advantages of choosing CHC Consulting are felt right away because a monetary retainer is not required to initiate a hospital’s physician recruitment efforts. And while large firms too often provide impersonal service due to heavy caseloads, CHC Consulting takes an altogether different approach, assigning a dedicated consultant to work in collaboration with the hospital CEO and practice leaders.
CHC Consulting’s physician recruitment team partners with community hospitals exclusively and understands their unique challenges. In addition to rural recruitment experience, the team brings the following expertise to the table:
- Private practice administration
- Single- and multi-specialty groups
- Stark Laws governing physician referrals
Not only is CHC Consulting’s approach more personal, but it also takes into account the unique circumstances around each physician opportunity. “All of the services, including the search itself, are tailored to the hospital’s needs and the specific opportunity,” says Stephanie Hobson, director of physician recruitment at CHC.
A Winning Approach
Typically, the hospital engages CHC Consulting on behalf of the practice. Then, “CHC Consulting does the work, involving and communicating with the hospital leadership throughout the process,” says Rick Montelongo, CEO, St. Mark’s Medical Center, La Grange, Texas.
CHC Consulting starts by designating a recruiting expert to lead several initiatives tailored to each community and opportunity:
- Prepares an opportunity overview including a profile of the practice, opportunity and community
- Develops a strategic marketing and sourcing plan for the physician opportunity
- Implements an interim continuity-of-care plan
- Screens, qualifies and interviews candidates
- Negotiates an employment agreement and salary package
- Initiates the onboarding process, assisting with first-year engagement and retention efforts upon request
The opportunity overview is a persuasive recruitment tool that not only provides candidates with accurate information about local demographics, real estate and schools but also makes the case for living and setting up practice in an underserved or rural region, where the physician will become an important community leader. Candidates sometimes have preconceptions about living and practicing in a smaller or rural community, so CHC Consulting presents the positive aspects of becoming part of the medical practice and community. Working exclusively with community hospitals, CHC Consulting is uniquely qualified to highlight the positives with heartfelt conviction.
The goal is not simply to fill positions, but to place physicians where they will be successful and satisfied both professionally and personally so they’ll stay long-term. “In today’s fiercely competitive environment, the loss of a physician can make or break a hospital,” Hobson says. “But finding a physician that the hospital can retain because it’s a good fit to begin with benefits the practice, the hospital and the community for years to come.”