Myths and Facts Regarding Exclusive MSP Relationships


Working with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) can expand access to candidates by activating hundreds of affiliated staffing agencies for a candidate search, while simultaneously removing administrative burden from hospital staff. In working with an MSP, there’s typically an exclusive contracted relationship between the facility or system and that MSP. There are misconceptions and misunderstandings about what exclusivity can mean. A review of the facts about exclusivity can help bust some of the myths.

Myth: Exclusive relationships put “all the eggs in one basket” and limit the available talent pool.
Fact: Exclusivity ensures that the hundreds of additional staffing agencies expanding the hospital’s reach adhere to favorable terms and conditions.

Working with an MSP empowers a facility or health system to reach exponentially more clinical talent. By utilizing an affiliate network, the metaphorical eggs are in hundreds of baskets nationwide. With expanded reach comes the need for improved consistency and quality control. This is where exclusivity helps. It becomes the obligation of the MSP to maintain quality and ensure that the hundreds of Joint Commission-certified staffing affiliates keep up with expectations and standards.

All agencies adhere to the terms of a Master Agreement between the hospital and the MSP, which establishes:

  • A standardized rate structure for cost-containment
  • A uniform protocol process for mitigating risk
  • A single invoice for efficiency (instead of dozens)
  • Enterprise-wide visibility around usage, spend and analytics for data-driven planning

Myth: Exclusivity makes things less efficient and slows the candidate flow.
Fact: Exclusivity helps create a more engaged vendor group, which is central to sustaining candidate flow. Developing a consistent pipeline of candidates dramatically increases efficiency.

An MSP can make it faster and easier for staffing agencies to focus on the open roles in a health system. More importantly, it reduces the time it takes to submit a candidate. With our MSP, affiliated staffing agencies do not have to take 20-30 minutes to load their candidates into a software. In this tight market, travelers (and affiliate agencies) will continue to gravitate toward jobs that are easier to submit to.

It is critical for facilities to make offers within 24 hours of submittal. This is also why an MSP can take over interviewing and offering. Once candidates are identified, they are managed on an accelerated timeline. Our Clinical Team conducts live 1:1 pre-screening interviews within 2-3 hours of submittal. Facilities gain a competitive recruiting advantage through these refined business processes.

An MSP arrangement also creates a more efficient and more accurate timekeeping process, and results in a single invoice. Instead of managing dozens of agency contracts and invoices, a facility needs just one. There’s also the option to leave paper timekeeping in the past. This creates a far more sustainable and realistic workload for hiring managers and HR leaders, especially at a time when systems are trying to do more with less.

Myth: An exclusive relationship will hurt the service level.
Fact: Exclusivity creates a more strategic partnership, instead of just a transactional relationship. It creates greater familiarity with challenges and goals, and a more vested interest in a facility’s success.

Consider the alternative to an MSP relationship — casting a wider net by signing up with dozens of staffing agencies. In that case, none of those agencies have an obligation to focus on a facility’s strategic plan needs, especially with an unprecedented number of jobs open nationwide. This is a transactional relationship, one where agencies have little or no accountability for delivering what the hospital needs.

The opposite of this is a more partnership-based approach that comes from the right MSP and, yes, an exclusive relationship. A partnership-driven approach that prioritizes its needs above hospitals within the same geography competing for the same talent.

Partnership also means real accountability. In addition to prioritizing a facility’s job needs across the enterprise, an exclusive agreement helps align and hold performance accountable to meeting desired goals. Shared key performance metrics and thresholds include fill rate, time-to-fill and assignment completion rates. This service-based approach also helps remove the administrative burden on staff.

Not all MSPs operate the exact same way or deliver the same results. It’s worth exploring which partner is right for your needs. If your facility can benefit from the improved hiring reach and efficiency that comes from an MSP partnership, reach out to Medical Solutions to start a conversation about your needs.

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