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Afferent Solutions for Practices

Improve cash flow, sharpen operations, and find the right talent for your team.

Provider Retention Consulting

Save millions by taking a proactive approach to staffing by focusing on retaining your talent and anticipating needs.

The High Cost of Provider Turnover

In today’s ultra-competitive market, smart healthcare delivery organizations have sought to improve their margins by capitalizing on strategic advantages and maximizing efficiencies. However, most organizations have yet to adequately address one inefficiency that costs millions of dollars annually—provider turnover. In fact, less than one-quarter of healthcare organizations measure the cost of provider turnover and/or have a plan in place to promote retention of their providers, despite the impact turnover has on the “Triple Aim”- cost, quality, and access of healthcare to communities.


Swollen Cost

Turnover carries a significant price tag. It’s been estimated that clinician turnover may result in losses of up to 6 percent of an organization’s annual operating budget, as many indirect costs often aren’t accounted for by organizations. Between the loss of clinic, inpatient, specialist referrals and ancillary services, the opportunity cost of losing a provider can add up to more than $1 million dollars. Add the direct costs of recruiting and onboarding a new physician, and the total cost of losing just one physician can equal nearly $1.3 million dollars.

The High Cost of Losing a Physician

Loss of Downstream Revenue$990,033
Estimated Recruiting Cost$61,200
Average Annual Start-up Cost$211,063
Total Turnover Cost$1,262,296

Consequences for Quality

In addition to the costs, provider turnover invariably can reduce quality of care.

One study found that turnover in healthcare organizations may result in:

  • decreased organization morale and employee engagement and satisfaction
  • decreased efficiency and precision of care
  • increased provider illness and absenteeism
  • increased feeling of provider “burnout”
  • increased workload on other providers and employees

Turnover can cause a chain reaction profoundly affecting care through:

  • decreased patient satisfaction
  • decreased patient access and increased patient wait times
  • decreased patient throughput
  • increased infection rates and hospitalizations for infection
  • increased length of stay
  • increased complication rates
  • increased mortality
  • increased malpractice claims

Diminishing Access

When providers leave practices, they often create a care gap that takes anywhere from three to six months to fill, if the role is filled at all. Once hired, physicians take approximately 11 months to “settle in.” NPs and Pas take up to 24 months to fully ramp up. So when a provider leaves, it could be a year-and-a-half to two years before the new provider is at full productivity. In some cases, a physician leaving means access dries up altogether, and not just in rural areas.

How Can My Organization Promote Proactive Retention?

Despite the huge, indisputable costs, most healthcare organizations don’t measure the impact of turnover or have a proactive program in place to retain their best providers. A 2015 study found that only 24 percent of organizations attempted to quantify the real cost of provider turnover, and only 27 percent have a formal retention or onboarding plan in place. Considering all the implications, this problem deserves more attention.

Afferent Retention Consultants can help stem the flow of turnover and implement programs and processes that can transform your organization. Talk to an Afferent Consultant today to learn more and save millions.

To talk to an Afferent Retention Consultant today, contact us at 1.844.678.9APS (9277) or email info@afferentsolutions.com.

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