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Five Questions Discussing the Present and Future of the Healthcare Staffing Industry

December 17, 2020: Michael Bartels, Chief Development Officer of Becker LLC, interviewed fellow Industry Partner Tony D’Amicantonio, Vice President & Staffing Practice Leader of Odell Studner, discussing the hot topics Tony has consulted with his Staffing Clients about during the Pandemic and looking forward to 2021.

Bartels: With COVID-19 having a drastic impact on the Staffing Industry as a whole, how are you advising your Healthcare Staffing clients to deal with the Pandemic? Where have you seen a growth or decline, specifically with your Healthcare Staffing clients, and what has been their feedback about how they are handling the Pandemic?

D’Amicantonio: From an insurance and risk management standpoint, we continue to encourage our clients to understand their Workers’ Compensation statutory requirements as it relates to “essential workers” who contract the virus. Obviously, many healthcare staffing companies are placing folks who are on the front lines helping save lives and as such could be more susceptible to contracting the virus. For that reason, many states have enacted a presumability component to their Workers’ Compensation statute which presumes these employees contracted the virus while at work, and thus making it a compensable Workers’ Compensation claim for the employer unless the employer can clearly support otherwise. Understanding the playing field here is key to helping a sick employee and ensuring good communication with that employee and with your client if somebody does get sick.

Much like the staffing industry as a whole, the healthcare staffing industry has experienced varying degrees of growth or decline depending on what type of medical staffing you are providing. For example, travel nursing has seen some of the largest growth, while allied healthcare has seen some of the sharpest declines. My discussions with my clients vary in how they are handling this. Some folks are choosing to stay the course as we recently just started to see a modest return in the allied healthcare sector prior to this most recent COVID spike. Some believe that return will continue and they will be just fine. Others have pivoted their business model to offer another specialty segment like travel nursing or per diems in order to further diversify and capitalize in those stronger segments right now in order to offset losses elsewhere.

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