In the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2013: Strategic Imperatives for an Evolving Industry, health executives from hospitals and healthcare organizations nationwide identified their biggest challenges, with reimbursement reductions and the physician shortage topping the list. Nearly every respondent (92%) considers reduced reimbursement a threat, and for good reason. Medicare and Medicaid payments to hospitals have not kept pace with the cost of care, and, thanks to the latest “doc fix”, hospitals saw future payments slashed for the next decade. It is no surprise then that healthcare leaders plan to focus on patient satisfaction (54%) and clinical quality (48%). Medicare is using patient satisfaction and care quality to determine reimbursement rates as part of the value-based purchasing initiative. It makes sense that facilities would want to get the highest reimbursement possible; however, the physician shortage, another other top concern, will make it difficult for healthcare facilities to maintain the staff support needed to provide continual quality care to patients. Hospitals and healthcare organizations can offset declining reimbursement and maximize revenue by using locum tenens physicians and nurse practitioners. A survey of hospitals and healthcare organizations that use locum tenens found that locums prevented revenue loss for nearly half of respondents (43%). In that same survey, 64% of facilities said locum tenens physicians and nurse practitioners allow their facility to offer continual treatment to patients. In addition to maximizing reimbursement, facilities are also planning to cut costs. More than half (62%) of respondents to the Healthleaders survey said they were planning to focus on labor efficiencies to control costs, and 26% said they will likely enact a staffing freeze at their facility. Locum tenens can help these organizations, giving them the flexibility to temporarily increase their staffing levels to meet surges in patient volume and prevent employee burnout. And because locum tenens are independent contractors, healthcare organizations are spared the extra expense of employee benefits that typically come with staffing an employee.