I was a bit naïve, and thought I knew all the reasons a facility could use PRN Physical, Occupational, or Speech Therapy help. Well, I was recently humbled and introduced to yet another reason.
Now, you may be blessed with a large staff of therapists – so much so that caseloads on sick days and vacations can be absorbed by the group as a whole. If so, congratulations! But what about those facilities that aren’t blessed with numerous therapists on staff? If you’re a one-PT rehab facility, you could certainly use the help.
This is especially the case with a scenario I was recently presented. The rehab facility in question had one part-time PT, and another PRN PT. This arrangement was more than sufficient, but it wasn’t without a curveball. The facility was switching over to an electronic form of time clocks called Kronos. I’m somewhat familiar with Kronos from an employee standpoint as my former employer implemented this during my tenure…and I’ll just say that it had its advantages and disadvantages. It seems logical for a healthcare facility to progress to an electronic time clock system; after all, everything else in healthcare is going electronic.
However, there was a potential disadvantage in this particular scenario. Each employee must have their own Kronos user ID to log in to the system in order to clock in and out, which of course, isn’t free. I browsed the Kronos website, and couldn’t find pricing, but this particular facility was going to have to spend $200 on each employee annually in order to have them in the Kronos system. Ouch!
This begs the question from the facility rehab manager: Do we use our PRN staff enough to justify paying $200 annually for them to be in our Kronos time clock system?
Good question…and one I cannot answer. Only the facility can. And at best, it may be an educated guess and not a black and white answer.
But…would it be more economical for the facility to utilize contract therapists instead of their own employed PRN therapists? Maybe so, maybe not. And that answer may differ from year to year.
There are potentially more hidden savings with using contract therapists instead of PRN employed therapists.
1. Reduced HR hours to maintain personnel compliance.
2. Contract therapists may not have to attend mandatory HR training, which is usually a paid training, at least to some degree.
3. HR doesn’t have to pay for TB tests, background checks, drug screens, and more for contract therapists. These are all the responsibility of the therapist.
One last thing to ponder for this particular facility is the idea of contract therapists. If therapists are now required to be their own independent contractor, many are not used to this fact. Or maybe more accurate, the vast majority are not used to this fact. As such, the therapists will not want to pay for and keep current their TB test, background checks, drug screen, professional liability insurance, and other requirements that fall upon an independent contractor’s shoulders.
But there’s good news! MHSN can take care of these staffing headaches. A facility is able to choose from a pool of contract therapists for help as needed, and therapists within our network don’t have to worry about the responsibilities mentioned above; we do that for them.
So there you have it. I don’t know every reason for a facility to use contract therapist staffing…and I’m sure more reasons will continue to surface. In the meantime, do you Kronos?
What are your thoughts? Do you utilize electronic time clocks, and has it affected your PRN staffing of therapists? If you are a therapist on PRN staff somewhere, would you become an independent contractor if that facility asked you to?