Getting to the heart of travel healthcare.

A podcast hosted by Sunny & Matt

Podcast Transcript


Eddie Parizek of HealthTrust Workforce Solutions joins the podcast to talk about Managed Services Providers in the healthcare staffing space, advantages to the traveler, and what they should know.

MSP & Me: The Managed Services Landscape and the Traveler

November 13, 2019


Voice Over: Welcome to CARDIUM, from Aureus Medical, the podcast that gets to the heart of travel healthcare, and asks what's your why? With each episode, we explore the topics and issues that impact healthcare professionals in the fields of nursing and allied health. Now, here are your hosts, Sunny and Matt.

Matt: Welcome to another episode of CARDIUM Podcast. We're glad you're here. If you're a new subscriber, welcome to you. If you're a current subscriber, welcome back. Joining me today is Sunny. Hi, Sunny.

Sunny: Hi, Matt. How are you?

Matt: I'm doing really well. Really well. How was your weekend?

Sunny: It was great. I didn't do too much. Just relaxed with the family.

Matt: Good, good to hear. Yeah, I did the same thing. Relaxed with the fam.

Sunny: Sometimes that's all you need.

Matt: Exactly. Unwind, decompress a little bit. Get ready for the next week. Get ready for this podcast.

Sunny: Yeah, exactly.

Matt: Well, I'm really excited about today's podcast.

Sunny: I am too.

Matt: I think it's a really good subject.

Sunny: I am too. I get a lot of questions about this.

Matt: And I think it's going to be really impactful because it's such a big deal.

Sunny: Yeah.

Matt: We're talking today about managed service providers in contract staffing and in the workforce in general in the healthcare industry. And we're really excited to talk about it. I think it affects everybody, and it's a solution out there that has really come on strong over the last five to ten years. And our guest is very knowledgeable about the topic, and our guest today is Eddie Parizek, with HealthTrust Workforce Solutions.

Matt: A little bit about Eddie. Eddie is an Assistant Vice President of HealthTrust Workforce Solutions, manages services program operations for HCA Healthcare. Now that's a mouthful. He collaborates with division and facility leaders to fill contract labor needs for all nursing and allied departments with clinically competent and cost effective resources.

Matt: After spending several years in the legal field, Eddie joined HealthTrust in 1998, and has built a solid foundation of experience with both standard and crisis staffing, ensuring a superior customer service delivery for all stages of contracting process.

Matt: Eddie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of South Florida, and a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law. Eddie, welcome.

Eddie: Super excited to be here.

Matt: Yeah, we really appreciate it. And appreciate you being able to join us and talk about a managed service provider, an MSP. And believe it or not, there's some still some people out there that don't know what an MSP is. So, since this is what you do every day, can you tell us your definition of an MSP, or a managed service provider?

Eddie: Certainly. So, a managed service provider basically is an organization that a facility or a group of facilities, an organization has contracted with to facilitate the placement of contract labor. And so they would engage in contracts with either a few, or many different partner suppliers to provide healthcare professionals to those organizations.

Sunny: It's something that I get a lot of questions about this actually, working with who I work with. And so I really want to ask you, what's the benefit to the healthcare industry of using MSP? If you can break it down for us, from the top down from the C level in the healthcare industry, to those in the trenches such as the RNs, or those that are providing the healthcare, and also to the patients?

Eddie: Certainly. So, when you're thinking of the C-suite, the C level folks, the CNOs, CFO, COO, CEO of a facility or organization, you're going to immediately realize cost benefits of engaging in an MSP, or with an MSP, because you are probably going to be getting group pricing. Most all of the suppliers that you contract with will have the same pricing typically, and there will be efficiencies with scale.

Eddie: Whereas if I'm a single hospital, instead of manually contracting with 25 different vendor suppliers, I contract with one and I get the fire power of however many vendor partners that are with the MSP. So, that's a major benefit for C-suite folks. In addition to any of the staff members that they have, because typically the MSP is handling credentialing, compliance, and the staff kind of arrive at the facility ready to work, and HR and the staffing directors don't really have to do all of that, that much really. Just probably review the items in a system, and they're ready to start with a little effort on their behalf.

Eddie: For an end level user, an RN, PT, whomever, or the healthcare professional, the benefits are, if I'm with an agency, and that agency is with an MSP, they have access to, in some cases, thousands of open positions that they otherwise may not have as much access to if being with just a single supplier. So, they immediately have access to many more positions.

Matt: Yeah. And I think that's really important from our podcast, with many of the listeners that we work with, they're really looking at what's in it for them? And what does an MSP mean to them? And I really appreciate the explanation from the top down of how the MSP is involved. And how you summed it up there, about having access to jobs, and really access to really good jobs. And that I think is huge when you're talking about contract staffing, healthcare professionals, that's something that you can't pass up, and you can't dismiss. It's a great value.

Matt: And so your group coordinates with agencies out there, with HealthTrust, with HCC facilities out there in the world, and trying to get those healthcare professionals there to an assignment to fill those specific needs for a unit, or for a division.

Matt: What would it be like as that process works through, and an agency is interacting with you, what would a healthcare professional need to do when they're preparing for an interview with a managed service provider, versus a regular hospital where there's a direct contact?

Eddie: So, when a agency is engaged with an MSP, they typically do not have direct access with the end using client, so it is very important for an RN, or healthcare practitioner prior to an interview, to very detail list out kind of their questions for an assignment. Almost like their wish list. What do they want to know? What do they need to know in making a decision on where to take an assignment? And get those questions out during an interview, because they may not have the opportunity to speak directly with that director or manager again. And their questions would then have to be filtered through an associate at their agency.

Sunny: So, make sure you have all your questions, and this could be time off. It could be anything like that. So, you need to get that right out in the open during that interview. So, if you're working with your recruiter, make sure you have all of your I's dotted, your T's crossed upfront, and have those questions ready to go during that interview. Correct?

Eddie: Correct. And you touched on something very important, is to work with your recruiter. Run those questions by your recruiter, and see if you're missing anything. So, your recruiter knows more than anybody because they do this every day on the types of questions to ask. So, if you're not sure of the questions, if you just say you want block scheduling, or a particular time off cadence, check with your recruiter.

Sunny: Sure.

Eddie: Because they're going to be the ones to help you fill out that question, set of questions.

Sunny: And I think that's really important too because a lot of times we run into where maybe healthcare travelers want to do the quick way, or they're just wanting to jump in. Just give me the quick and dirty, and I'll let you know if I want to take this.

Sunny: And a lot of times we're like, "Whoa, slow your roll." Because we need to give you the information, and we need you to communicate because every client is different. Everyone has a different requirement. But we also need to know from you if you have time off, if there's anything else that we need to know up front. Because they may not know that this client is an MSP. So, it's really, really good and I'm glad that I have the backing of you, Eddie, to say talk with your recruiter. So, thank you.

Eddie: Absolutely. The recruiter is your advocate. They're going to be the one to help navigate the entire process for you.

Sunny: Thank you.

Matt: I think it's really interesting Eddie, that I think there might be some thoughts out there that an MSP eliminates the role of a recruiter in many ways, but in fact the role of the recruiter might even be magnified because there is such limited opportunity to have a direct... There is no opportunity of direct contact with the client other than with that candidate. And that preparation, as you mentioned with the interview is such a critical piece of the puzzle.

Eddie: Correct. And when you're working with a recruiter, you can find seasoned professionals that claim to have seen it all and done it all, but I guarantee you the recruiter is going to be able to steer you towards things that you maybe haven't experienced before, and help again navigate the process. And while you may think you've seen it all and experienced it all, I guarantee you, I see it every day, you more than likely have not, and your recruiter is going to be your person to tell you that.

Matt: Yeah, and some of our conversations that you and I have had, Eddie, I think you might have seen it all. Just about everything.

Eddie: Yeah, I'm surprised every day that I come in, I see something new and novel, and the great thing is we're in a people-oriented business, and I love people.

Sunny: You should come out with a book.

Matt: I understand. I understand.

Eddie: Yes, I should.

Matt: Since the interview is such a critical piece, could you tell us a little bit about timelines when it comes to that interview? Because I think with an MSP, because there's a few more people involved, and the process is pretty streamlined as you'd mentioned in your open there. What are the timelines that a candidate can expect when they're working with their recruiter through an MSP such as yours?

Eddie: So, once the decision has been made with a recruiter to get submitted to a particular position, there is a bit of a timeline that we kind of look at, and there's the presenting to the MSP, then there's the screening by the MSP, which is about 24 hours. Then there's the time once the file has been submitted to the client facility, so we ask that the client interview within 24 to 48 hours, just to ensure that the candidate remains available, and that their facility is the one that has contacted the traveler first.

Eddie: Because at the end of the day, we do understand that healthcare professionals that are seeking travel opportunities are often submitted to many, so it is incumbent upon our facilities to interview very, very quickly. Once that interview has taken place, the client will then send an email message back to the MSP typically, informing of their desire to make an offer and informing us of start dates and shifts, and the time off that was discussed during the interview, any scheduling restrictions, or modifications that have also been discussed during the interview, and then the MSP staff then communicate that to the associated vendor partner.

Matt: Yeah. There's a lot of moving parts with that, even just for an interview, which really does differ from a direct contact with a client. Where if there's an unanswered question during the initial phase of that interview, it's just as simple as shooting an email off to that client. We don't have the luxury in that, and that's understandable. We've got people out there that... The hiring managers are out there trying to deliver patient care, and they don't really have the time to go back and forth.

Matt: So, understanding that role and understanding the timeline is pretty critical as well for a candidate. Be patient, let the process work through itself, and stay in close touch and close proximity with your recruiter.

Eddie: Absolutely, 100%.

Matt: Critical, critical.

Eddie: Yes.

Matt: So, as we move through that timeline with the interview, and a hiring decision is made for a candidate, can you talk to us a little bit about the other pieces of the puzzle, the critical pieces, as far as getting someone to the assignment, specifically talking about paperwork, your favorite topic.

Eddie: Oh, the C-word compliance.

Matt: Yes. Compliance, compliance.

Eddie: Compliance is always one of the most tricky components of a travel assignment, because typically in the olden days, right, those of us who have been doing this forever, you used to go into an agency, right? You could physically go into a brick and mortar location. Now, everything's over email and texting, and so forth. So, the compliance components are very crucial. You should know the timelines of when you should have things completed, drug screens, physicals, any of the vaccinations, or titers that need to be drawn. That information, again, that's where the recruiter is so important here, can be derived from your recruiter.

Eddie: And it's very important to follow the established timelines because your agency has given the client, or the MSP, who is then given it to the client a start date. And we try as much as possible to keep that start date in frame, and meet that start date because the client is adding that person to the schedule, and a whole series of other things can happen if we don't meet that.

Eddie: So, compliance is a crucial component. And I will say that is one of the benefits of an MSP, or another benefit of an MSP is typically you have a more standardized compliance process and program among the various clients that an MSP might have, if you participate in the MSP. So, when you're going from a client to a client, you shouldn't need that much additional information because it'll already be on file with the MSP.

Matt: And you actually have a lot of that. A lot of contract healthcare professionals actually do stay within your system, and travel back and forth, and maybe even out for an assignment, back in for an assignment, to help your clients out. So, I think that's a real important part of the information as well, is that compliance piece is critical. And they can't start without it.

Eddie: Correct, correct.

Matt: This is not an option.

Eddie: We don't start with pending items.

Matt: Right. It's not a nice to have.

Sunny: Eddie, being an RN or a therapist that's coming in on an assignment. If I'm a candidate, what do I need to do in regards to compliance?

Eddie: So, you would need to have a drug screen. You would need to have a background screening run, and that background screening would be a national screening, as well as any local jurisdiction, state, county, city in some cases, screenings run. There's a whole series of health screenings that must be completed. And then not to mention the testing, and the orientation that many of the facilities are requesting prior to arrival.

Sunny: Yeah.

Eddie: It could be 15 to 20 hours of HealthStream computer online learning that's required as well.

Sunny: So, again, working with that recruiter to get all of your compliance, competencies, all of that in as well.

Eddie: Critical, critical, yes.

Sunny: Yeah. And urgency is-

Eddie: And the recruiter is the critical component in all of this for sure.

Sunny: Yeah. And stressing the urgency as well too, on both the recruiter and the candidate as well.

Eddie: Correct.

Matt: So, when you have healthcare professionals interview, and again, part of that initial interview process, and they say, "Candidate, therapist, we would love to have you, can you be here next Tuesday?" That works right, Eddie? Because you love those.

Eddie: It does not work. The standard answer to that is I would love to, however I need to review the credentialing requirements with my recruiter.

Matt: Yeah, I think it's great. I love to hear that from you because I really think it's... Sometimes those hiring managers, they're eager to get someone in there to help, and they're either-

Eddie: Well, we all get excited when we have a viable candidate who's qualified and excited to go to work. That pumps everybody up. It's why we do what we do. And we want to get them started as quickly as possible as well, but we have to make sure that the proper protocols are followed and completed before that.

Sunny: Sure. Well, and at the end of the day, you want to make sure grandma, or that whoever that patient is, is safe. We can't just let anyone in the door.

Eddie: The end user, the primary focus should always be the patient.

Sunny: Yeah.

Eddie: That's foremost in our mind, the end care of the patient for sure.

Sunny: Yeah.

Matt: So, as we're working through that paperwork process and there's a question. Because often our candidates will have questions about, oh, what color the scrubs? I didn't quite get that. Or where do I need to report? Or what time is lunch? I think it's important to know that the recruiter, even though they have a critical role, the communication with the client can't necessarily happen as they've seen in the past. Correct?

Eddie: Correct. So, the recruiter might not necessarily be able to reach out to the client directly, typically not. The orientation instructions, start dates, attire, all of that is going to be given from the program team on the MSP to the account manager at the agency. And then that's forwarded onto the recruiter, who then forwards it to the candidate.

Matt: Once again, that string of communication, really emphasizing that from the get-go, and having that recruiter play a role, just not maybe normally what the candidate has seen before, it just becomes ultra critical.

Eddie: Correct. And it's really important that their compliance be completed in enough time prior to starting, to ensure that all of that information does flow timely. Because many clients won't release the orientation information until that candidate has been deemed compliant and ready to go.

Sunny: So, Eddie, I have a question. And you would think working with healthcare professionals, I wouldn't have to ask this question, but it does come up time and time again. And I do have to have this conversation, professionalism on the road, and when you're what I call a guest in someone else's home. And so when you are working as a traveler in an assignment at one facility, how it can impact you when you are, let's say not so professional, especially when you are working at an MSP facility, how does that impact you?

Eddie: You know the old adage, attitude is everything. Right?

Sunny: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Eddie: I love that saying, I use it all the time. And when you present with a less than positive attitude, especially within the confines of an MSP, word gets out, and facilities talk, and managers talk, and if it is such... Rises to the level that perhaps you're asked not to come back to the facility. If that client is with an MSP, that request not to return may go MSP wide, and you may be banned from potentially thousands of other facilities.

Sunny: Wow.

Eddie: So, when you are on campus at a facility, you're on your way, anytime you are engaging with staff, patients, et cetera, put your best foot forward, and realize that you are under a microscope all the time, because like you said, you are a guest in someone else's house, and they really look to the travelers to perform as staff would.

Sunny: Yeah. I always say that you are not there to disrupt the team environment. You're there to be a part of the team, and that's what a lot of times the interview is about. But also it's not a time for you to engage in water cooler talks.

Eddie: Right.

Sunny: That's always something that I'm always like, why? You're only there for 13 weeks, how can you get into gossip? Like, I don't-

Eddie: Yeah, it's funny because sometimes staff go there, and especially if you are on your second or third or fourth extension, you start to feel a part of the team there and that's a great thing. However, you have to remember that you know you are not a full-fledged part of that team, as far as an employee goes, so any of the issues that the other employees might be experiencing, you don't have to get involved with, because you're not an employee of the facility.

Sunny: Exactly.

Eddie: And you should stay focused on your end goal, which is patient care.

Sunny: And the healthcare community is so small. Like it's a huge, huge network worldwide, but it is also a very small community, and you may know someone who knows someone, and it's amazing how that degrees of separation is really, really quite small. And so you just want to make sure that you're always representing yourself.

Eddie: And things come back. We get people trying to come through the system all the time, who had an issue, a significant issue back in 2005, 2006, and it's in the system, and unfortunately we have to decline them and say, "We wish you the best, but not in our program." So, those kinds of things do follow.

Matt: It's interesting you say that, because I think when... When we were talking earlier and you said it, it was great, that the candidate is the face of the client, so not only are they jeopardizing their own ability to return, to continue to work within the system, they might even be giving the agency they work for a little bit of a black eye, if they don't go in there and act with all the professionalism. And I think when we were speaking about it, that was something that you were pretty passionate about.

Eddie: Absolutely. Because when you go in, you are representing your company, and if there's an issue, the hospital is going to wonder, well gosh, did the company not properly prepare this person? And why would they send me somebody who's so negative?

Sunny: Exactly.

Eddie: And they may not know the company, but then they'll come to myself or my team and say, "Which company did so-and-so come from?" And when we say, they say, "You know what, try not to send anybody from that company again because we can't have this negativity on our floor."

Eddie: And that negatively impacts not only you, but every other healthcare professional who wanted to go to that facility from that company.

Sunny: Yeah. Yep.

Matt: Yep, that's a great point. A really great point. And I think there's a lot of good stuff there, and a lot of good information.

Matt: I want to pivot a little bit here, Eddie, because you've been doing this a long time, and you're an expert, and I think it's really important as we've seen the MSP market really increase over the years, and with your years of expertise, if you had a crystal ball, what do you think is going to happen with the MSP world, the next two, three, maybe five years?

Eddie: So, with expenses and costs rising exponentially for hospital operators, I look for more facilities to engage with MSPs who are not already, especially many of our rural facilities throughout the country because they are facing even greater costs and threats to their very operation. So, they're going to look at every case to, or at every instance to save costs.

Eddie: And throughout the country, metropolitan facilities are doing the same thing. And I look for companies to merge. And I look for more companies to sign on with MSPs. And then I also look for possibly a reduction in the agencies with whom MSPs work. There's going to be some consolidation in the market because with the advent of the MSP type organization, you can only have and work with so many agencies. So, the best agencies are going to be a members of the MSPs. And as a healthcare practitioner, you know if your company is good in that space, but they're only going to work with those who give them quality candidates, who get people confirmed and compliant in time as promised. And it's going to be really limited as far as who the MSPs take on. So, there's going to be a little bit of consolidation in the market here in the next few years.

Matt: Certainly. Yeah. It seems like it's going that way. And I think that knowing that, and you being the expertise, you just looked into the crystal ball, what does that mean for the healthcare professional, the nurse, the therapist, the technologist? What impact do you see on those folks?

Eddie: So, they're going to want to make sure that they're aligned with a quality organization, a good recruiter. It means that you might not always get an assignment with the highest pay rate, because again think about it, we are trying to save our clients money. Now that doesn't mean that we're trying to get bare bones, but at the same time, we're giving opportunities for growth and enrichment.

Eddie: If you're at a facility that... Perhaps if you're full-time at a facility that doesn't have a service line that you are interested in, a travel assignment is an amazing way, an opportunity to get experience in that area, that you perhaps may not have been exposed to, or would have been exposed to at your main facility. So, we look for greater opportunities for that as the nursing shortage continues particularly.

Matt: So, our listeners that aren't traveling now, that aren't... The increase amount of usage of facilities, it's still not too late to get into healthcare travel?

Eddie: Oh, absolutely not. Now in fact is an amazing time to get into healthcare traveling. There are so many opportunities. So, we're not seeing a slowdown like we have in years past. So, it is an amazing time to get involved with traveling right now. Just endless opportunities across the country. Whether you want big city, or whether you want a nice farm town, the opportunities are there for whatever you're looking for exactly.

Sunny: Well, I have one more question that I wanted to ask, is looking as a candidate, what piece of advice would you give to someone starting an assignment at a hospital using an MSP?

Eddie: When you're walking into the facility for the first time, you have your smile on, you're gracious and courteous to everyone you meet, because you don't know anybody or anything at that facility, because the person you're saying hello to as you walk in the parking lot, might be the CEO of the hospital that you'll see later that day. So, just walk in with an openness, and a willingness to just jump in and be a part of the team.

Matt: Well, Eddie, we're about to wrap up, and we really appreciate you joining us today. It's been super informative, and we ask all of our guests the same question before they leave, and we want to ask you, Eddie, what is your why?

Eddie: My why really is providing opportunities for people to expand their horizons, with the end game being excellent patient care. And so if we're able to provide opportunities for people to expand those horizons, the quality and excellent patient care are going to follow that. That's my why.

Matt: I love it. I love it. Well, thank you again for joining us, Eddie. We really do appreciate your time. We really hope you enjoy the Florida weather, and have a fantastic weekend.

Eddie: Yeah, it's going to beautiful.

Matt: As always.

Eddie: Yes.

Matt: Well, thank you very much again, Eddie. We appreciate your time.

Matt: Well, we also like to hear the why's from healthcare professionals themselves, let's take a listen to Claudette. She's a travel nurse who we met this year at TravCon.

Claudette: Well, I've always wanted to be a nurse. Ever since I was younger, there was only three things I ever really wanted to do. It was either be a preacher, a teacher or a nurse, and I fell into nursing, and that way I get to do all three, and it works well for me.

Matt: That's amazing. What about travel nursing? Why'd you get into that?

Claudette: I've always kind of looked into it. When my child got older, I thought, okay, well he's in college, I can go ahead and travel, but that didn't happen, I got comfortable where I was. Circumstances occurred where it was time to make a change, but when that change came, it was like God saying, "You said you were going to do this. Let's do this." And that's how I got into traveling, and I really enjoyed it. It was really a positive change for me.

Matt: Folks, that's going wrap us up for today's podcast. We want to hear from you, so please drop us a review. Let us know your thoughts on today's topic, or anything else you'd like to discuss. We'll talk to you later, Sunny.

Sunny: All right, have a good one.

Matt: Bye-bye.

Sunny: Bye.

Voice Over: You've been listening to CARDIUM from Aureus Medical, with your hosts, Sunny and Matt. We're the podcast that gets to the heart of travel healthcare. To subscribe, access show notes, or to learn more, visit C-A-R-D-I-U-M, Or wherever you're listening, be sure to rate us review and subscribe. Thanks for tuning in, until next time.

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