Demonstrating Community Need for Physicians






How can hospitals, medical groups and other organizations demonstrate that they have a need for additional physicians? There are a variety of reasons why healthcare organizations seek to answer this key question. Prominent among them is that a physician/community needs assessment plan can be central to any effort to comply with IRS, HHS and Stark related physician recruiting regulations. Broadly speaking, these regulations allow health facilities more latitude in the incentives they can offer to recruit physicians based on how urgently additional physicians are needed in the community. The greater the need for a physician the more that can be offered. A needs assessment plan can confirm the facility’s need for physicians in given specialties and justify the use of a wide range of physician recruiting incentives.

While regulatory compliance is one important reason for developing a physician needs assessment plan, there are others. A thorough assessment plan with a sound methodology:

  • Provides a pro-active, strategic physician recruiting blue-print to follow.
  • Creates buy-in for recruitment among the current medical staff.
  • Assesses the demographics and practice patterns of current staff.
  • Shows potential recruiting candidates that there is a documented need for their services.

In addition, recruitment can be a significant cause of contention between hospitals and the medical staff. Existing physicians can torpedo a search if they feel there is no need for a new doctor or if they believe their opinion was not solicited. By soliciting physician input through a medical staff plan, recruitment can become, in effect, the staff’s idea.
A staff plan provides a guide to who your medical staff is, their style of practice, retirement plans, etc. It also can be used to demonstrate to incoming physicians that there is a need for their services in the community. A plan which indicates that 90% of local physicians support the recruitment of a new doctor and that the service area has grown by 30% makes a strong statement about the need for a doctor in the community. A hospital or group that can point to such a plan will have more credibility with candidates than a hospital or group lacking such data.

With a data driven staff plan in place, a hospital or medical group is in position to initiate those search requirements identified as being the most immediately pressing, while also completing a physician recruiting compliance document, building consensus among existing staff for recruiting additional physician, and establishing a strategic blue print for future recruiting efforts.

About Merritt Hawkins
Established in 1987, Merritt Hawkins is the leading physician search and consulting firm in the United States and is a company of AMN Healthcare (NYSE: AMN), the largest healthcare workforce solutions organization in the nation. Merritt Hawkins’ provides physician and advanced practitioner recruiting services to hospitals, medical groups, community health centers, telehealth providers and many other types of entities nationwide.
The thought leader in our industry, Merritt Hawkins produces a series of surveys, white papers, books, and speaking presentations internally and also produces research and thought leadership for third parties. Organizations for which Merritt Hawkins has completed research and analysis projects include The Physicians Foundation, the Indian Health Service, Trinity University, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Association of Academic Surgical Administrators, and the North Texas Regional Extension Center.


Kurt Mosley
VP of Strategic Alliances
Merritt Hawkins and Staff Care companies of AMN Healthcare
Direct Phone: (469) 524-1446
Cell Phone: (214) 392-3936
8840 Cypress Waters Blvd. #300, Dallas, TX 75019

Webinar: Population Health Management Solutions for Value-based Care

ZeOmega will  host a webinar aimed at helping our members learn how population health management solutions can help achieve Triple Aim goals and ensure success in risk-based care delivery and reimbursement models.


Population Health Management Solutions for Value-based Care


Accountable care organizations (ACOs), integrated delivery networks (IDNs), and other healthcare providers face numerous challenges in the transition to value-based care, namely:


  • Implementing programs and solutions that address complex regulatory requirements, quality measures, and various care delivery and payment models.
  • Aggregating and integrating clinical and financial data from disparate systems.
  • Quickly developing the care management capabilities (that payers have spent decades perfecting) to effectively manage risk.
  • Leveraging clinical, financial, and quality data to drive provider alignment and optimize performance.


Register today for this complimentary webinar from ZeOmega® to learn how end-to-end population health management (PHM) solutions can help overcome these challenges.


Industry thought leaders and subject matter experts will explain the importance of selecting an extensible, comprehensive PHM platform that supports the diverse and complex needs of ACOs, IDNs, and other healthcare organizations at different stages of their transition to value-based care. You will learn how the right PHM solution can help achieve Triple Aim goals and ensure success in risk-based care delivery and reimbursement models.


Date:   Thursday, May 11, 2017


Time:   11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. CST




Mark Fletcher, Director, Project Management, University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW)

Joe Taylor, Executive Director, Community Care Collaborative of  PA and NJ 

Christopher Mathews, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, ZeOmega




Matt Adamson, Vice President of Client Relations, ZeOmega

Disposal of controlled substances: Do you have a sinking feeling?


An Informative article submitted by Stericyle written by Kim New an expert in the field on the topic of drug diversion


Understanding how to Properly Waste Controlled Substances: A facility-wide solution minimizes your risk


Experts like Kim New, J.D., BSN, founder of the International Health Facilities Diversion Association, weekly visits U.S. hospital leaders to explain solutions to a growing crisis – drug diversion by healthcare workers.


She describes institutional drug diversion as stealing medications, including excess waste, for personal or unauthorized use. Anyone who has legitimate access to drugs delivered during patient care has the opportunity to divert. Developing and tightening controlled substance waste processes are a necessity for protecting patients and staff.


Kim New describes common scenes: fentanyl waste left on a cabinet between OR cases; an ER patient pulls a sharps container off the wall  for access; or diversion by family visitors and imposters posing as healthcare providers. All can gain access to controlled substances if procedures are not standardized.


Addressing Vulnerabilities


Preventing diversion of controlled substance when it needs to be wasted can be problematic. New describes the steps to take to improve your security in this webinar: “Proper Disposal of Controlled Substance Waste.


New describes all health facilities as vulnerable and mentions it’s a matter of when, not if, diversion happens. A hospital team’s ability to detect it quickly is the key to what can be a multi-victim crime that poses a significant risk to patients and staff safety. For this reason, clinicians and administrators should treat diversion similar to other patient and staff safety initiatives.


New highlights the bigger picture and contributing factors: drug abuse occurs at the same levels as community abuse. Healthcare workers have a stressful, physically demanding job that can bring injury or chronic back problems that often lead to taking painkillers that can become addicting.


She dispels myths: clinicians often describe becoming desensitized and supervising staff say a person of this crime is “the last person I’d expect.” Equally puzzling, diverting drugs from sharps containers is one of the last places one would expect someone with healthcare knowledge to go. Yet diversion from sharps containers is very common.


Diversion consequences include: providing patient care in an impaired state at work or while driving home; withholding medications from patients in need; and transmitting blood borne pathogens after removing the contents and replacing the opioid with saline or water to match the former volume and then using the same syringe on the patient.


Keeping Compliant


Individuals waste controlled substances into sinks, toilets and sharps containers. HCWs are asked to witness and document or attest that the wasting occurred. No matter the place and timing of disposal, there can be diversion. Surveyors now question hospitals’ wasting processes as part of safety and examining waste in sharps containers.


New describes seeing hospital policies that outdate DEA, EPA, state and local requirements. The Joint Commission medication management standards are being revised to include waste so New strongly advises hospitals to address waste in written policies to minimize risk.


Current practices vary from hospital to hospital and department to department. Formal controlled substances disposal services can help including at outpatient clinics which often unaware of how to properly dispose of controlled substance waste. No matter which healthcare facility, New recommends dedicated controlled substance waste containers that deactivate, bind or both, so the substances prevent diversion. She cautions that the sink is not a good policy for wasting due to environmental reasons.
Where to Learn More


Learn more about minimizing risk and what a consistent and practical approach for hospitals looks like. Safely and securely dispose of controlled substances with a full-service solution such as the CsRx™ Service by Stericycle.


Why have a formal controlled substance disposal initiative? New makes it clear: “These type of efforts save lives.”