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    Good non-clinical staff are hard to find, according to a new MGMA Stat poll. A May 1 MGMA Stat poll asked healthcare leaders if they have experienced a shortage of qualified non-clinical applicants in the past year. More than 60% of respondents reported that it’s been challenging to find qualified candidates in today’s healthcare market.

    Some of the reasons for those who responded yes included:

    • “Finding medical assistants is very difficult,”
    • “Recruiting millennials is a completely different game,”
    • “Limited local pool due to an abundance of open positions in the community,”
    • “Lack of future career advancements in the billing and coding field,”

    For those 35% who responded that they have not had trouble finding qualified applicants in the past year, they indicated not having open positions in the past year, increasing wages to retain staff or turnover in other industries causing employees to want to continue working in healthcare.

    Competition from other medical groups, hospitals and health systems and competitive pay from other industries in search of qualified workers has made it more difficult to keep turnover at bay. A May 2017 MGMA Stat poll suggested front-office staff — receptionists, medical records staff and transcriptionists — had high levels of turnover in addition to notable turnover rates in nursing and other clinical areas. This area of practice operations is especially crucial in a consumer-driven environment: a practice’s front office is cited as a top area for patient satisfaction issues. recruit and retain talented staff. One of the common reasons for not experiencing a shortage of qualified candidates is because organizations did not have job openings or have had little to no turnover.

    While finding qualified candidates is a challenge for medical groups, practice leaders can begin by assessing how they are approaching retention of their best employees and mitigating turnover before it becomes an issue.

    Additional resources:

    Nick A. Fabrizio, PhD, FACMPE, FACHE
    MGMA Consulting

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