6 times interim clinical leadership makes sense

While many companies have used temporary or interim hires to fill administrative positions for years, the need for interim clinical leadership has jumped to the forefront of many agendas. Whether your company is experiencing significant growth, developing new products or is preparing for an audit, interim clinical leadership can be the answer to your needs.

If your organization is experiencing any of the following circumstances, interim clinical leadership makes sense:

  • Significant growth – when the plan’s membership is growing faster than staff can reasonably be recruited, hired and trained for clinical oversight or management. In these situations, bringing in interim staff allows a plan to have the clinical oversight in place immediately without needing to conduct a long-term hiring process. Once the interim solution is in place, the plan can take time to better define the permanent roles and work with a recruiter to fill the positions.

  • Clinical audits or readiness reviews – when the plan has a need to assess clinical policies and procedures or prepare for an NCQA or URAC readiness review. Interim staff can focus on a gap assessment of the plan and areas of need.

  • Specific clinical expertise – when the plan has products or services that require explicit experience, in areas such as Medicare Advantage, quality management, clinical policy development, or clinical committee involvement. In these situations, bringing someone in with deep knowledge and experience is invaluable.

  • Objective reviews – when the plan needs objective assistance with clinical oversight of utilization management, case or care management programs including reviewing current efforts for effectiveness. Often, someone outside of your organization can more impartially evaluate program efforts and provide leadership and recommendations for improvement far better than internal staff.

  • Short-term clinical role – when the plan needs to determine whether a specific clinical role would be useful long-term. For instance, hiring an interim to provide care management for members with co-occurring physical and behavioral health issues or someone with deep pediatric or OB/GYN experience. If you find that this expertise has a positive ROI or benefit to members then you can create a permanent position.

  • Temporary backlog – when the plan has a logjam of care management reviews that needs to be resolved. Far better than either rushing through these reviews or delaying them, bring in interim clinical staff that can clear out the backlog to ensure better health outcomes for members.

When considering the use of interim clinical staff, the following recommendations can optimize their value to you and your organization:

  • Identify specific deliverables – Clearly prioritize the top three to five goals to better determine the specific skills and experience needed.

  • Let interim staff remained focused – Outline deliverables. Too often interim staff can become bogged down in the bureaucracy that has nothing to do or is distracting from what they need to accomplish.

  • Take advantage of the outside perspective – Encouraging recommendations. Their perspective can often improve the clinical effectiveness of your organization.

  • Find a good partner - Work with an organization that can bring the best expertise for the role you need to fill.

DeltaSigma has a history of working with our clients to determine strategies to improve outcomes for members. Including interim clinical leadership options within those strategies can be an effective way to make the plan more successful.

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