Case Study by samstaff

On the West Coast of the U.S., an innovative health system tackles an important goal – solving the challenge to hire permanent medical coders and reduce their reliance on contract coders. The negative implications of unfilled positions were taking its toll. The focus should be on their mission to advocate for vulnerable populations and needed reforms in health care versus trying to source, recruit, interview, and hire coders in a competitive market. With samstaff’s support, they put innovation to work with a creative approach to their permanent hiring needs.

This case study explores the transformative impact of an innovative staffing collaboration in a healthcare organization’s journey to fill permanent positions. The organization faced challenges attracting and retaining top talent in a competitive marketplace. To address these issues, they collaborated with samstaff, their preferred staffing partner.

The Negative Implications of Open Positions Were Significant

Increased Workload for Existing Staff:
With permanent positions unfilled, their existing staff was required to take on additional responsibilities to compensate, leading to decreased job satisfaction and increased stress. Not to mention that overworked staff members become more prone to costly errors.

Recruitment Challenges: They were concerned that prolonged unfilled positions could negatively affect their long-term ability to attract talent. It may deter future candidates from applying, making it even more challenging to fill vacancies.

Staff Morale and Burnout: Increased turnover and persistent understaffing were beginning to erode staff morale and cause burnout. Team members were disillusioned and disengaged, affecting their commitment and work quality.

Financial Impact: Unfilled permanent positions came with a high cost to the department, with overtime pay for existing staff and increased temporary staffing costs. Pressures from above were constant to eliminate their coding and billing backlog. Delayed revenue recognition, cost flow challenges, and reduced profit margins of DNFB were having a fiscal impact on the health system.

Long Term Sustainability: Chronic understaffing poses a threat to the long-term sustainability of the health system. It could hinder expansion plans and impact their ability to adapt to changing healthcare needs and technologies.

Goals Aligned, Outcomes Transformed
The mission of this engagement was multi-faceted, addressing hiring challenges that, if corrected, would positively impact HIM Department’s employee retention and morale, reduce their reliance on contract workers, and help their bottom line. Key goals included improving the quality and speed of permanent hires while enhancing the overall employee experience.

Partnering with Their Best Staffing Provider, samstaff

This client contacted samstaff to strategize the best way to achieve their aspirational permanent hiring goals. Through joint discussions and a revised contract agreement this new hiring strategy was put in motion.
• Quickly identify quality experienced coders who are committed to permanent positions.
• Created an expedited temp-to-perm process that would provide the opportunity to confirm an ideal match before a perm offer is presented.
• Incorporating their permanent interview process was essential to selecting the strongest candidates – including a full 1-hour video interview with the leadership team.
• A robust orientation, training, and auditing process would be essential to understand if the Coders could meet their quality and productivity expectations within 30 days.
• samstaff’s Audit and Education Team partnered with the client to supplement their leadership team efforts and support the new coders first weeks on assignment.
• A strong cultural fit was also important to their leadership team.
• Invitations to apply for a permanent position would be extended to “Manager approved” Coders at the 30-day mark of the contract period.
• Expedited perm conversions were targeted for start dates at the 45-60 mark of the contract period.

Real Results, Real Transformation!

Reduced Time to Fill: With 3 weeks lead time, samstaff sourced, recruited, and placed 11 contract to permanent outpatient coders and auditors on assignment with the client. Within 4 weeks the client offered permanent positions to 9 coders and auditors. All accepted and converted to permanent employees within 60 days of the start of this engagement.

Enhanced Candidate Experience: Candidates reported an incredibly positive onboarding experience with glowing reviews of the training and mentoring process. Both samstaff and the client were highly engaged to ensure seamless communication from the initial interview through their permanent start date.

Innovation Mindset: The remarkable results of this initiative reinforced the innovation and collaboration mindset that this client is working to instill across departments system wide. Staff members became more receptive to adopting new strategies and partnerships for problem-solving.

Cost Savings: This streamlined temp to perm hiring process and cost structure resulted in significant cost savings for the client by investing in new core employees versus long term contract resources. The collaboration with samstaff offered the client a rich selection of quality talent as their HR department does not maintain a pipeline of qualified candidates.
• The cost of investing in 9 core employees was equal to the cost of TWO contact coders for one year and one quarter of billing OR equal to the client gaining 9 permanent employees (in 8 weeks) for the cost of engaging 9 contract coders in one quarter.

Conclusion: A Successful Story of Innovation
Innovation and collaboration in permanent staffing proved to be a game changer for this HIM Department. By leveraging a trusted partner, and a unified approach, they not only addressed their staffing challenges but also created a culture of continuous improvement and creative problem solving that positively impacted team morale and their department budget. A fully staffed team accelerated their billing and reimbursement cycle, reduced DNFB levels and positively contributed to the financial stability of their organization.

At samstaff – we deliver tailored solutions, every time: We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. Our approach begins with a deep understanding of your business, culture, and requirements. Whether you are seeking temporary support, permanent staff, or project-based experts, we design personalized staffing strategies that align with your goals. We foster collaborative partnerships: Your success is our success. We go beyond the transactional to foster genuine partnerships. We’re invested in your growth, and our team becomes an extension of yours, working together to tackle challenges and seize opportunities.

We are proud to be a small women owned business. Join the movement towards a more diverse, inclusive, and empowered workforce. Choose samstaff for solutions that transcend expectations. Let’s redefine success together. Empowerment. Diversity. Excellence. That’s samstaff.

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