Number of locum tenens by state
Locum tenens are healthcare providers that work on a short-term, contractual basis. These providers are important to healthcare because they can help fill critical roles when a provider leaves a facility, takes a vacation, or goes on a sabbatical. Locum tenens workers also offer extra support during peak seasons as well as public health emergencies.
As the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the U.S. in 2020, hospitals began to see increased rates of physician burnout and departure, exacerbating a physician shortage that had begun prior to COVID. As a result, demand for locum tenens increased dramatically and has shown no signs of slowing down.
Definitive Healthcare predicts the utilization of locum tenens physicians based on a proprietary algorithm that analyzes a physician’s recent billing activity and network affiliations. Organizations use this data for staffing planning.
|Rank||State||% of providers that are predicted locum tenens by state||Explore dataset|
|41||District of Columbia||1.80%||Explore|
Which states have the most locum tenens physicians?
The state with the highest predicted percent of locum tenens physicians is West Virginia, with 4.8%. West Virginia is currently ranked last in the United States for quality of healthcare, last in infrastructure, and 47th in education by U.S. News and World Report. Struggles to attract full-time talent due to the state’s low population and rural geography could also be explanations for why so many locum tenens physicians are needed.
The state with the second highest predicted percent of locum tenens physicians is Texas, with 4.7%. This ranking is a little less surprising as Texas is one of the largest states in the country by both area and population and ranks at #32 for quality of healthcare. This state was also hit incredibly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, so more physicians may have left the workforce from burnout, explaining the high demand for locum tenens physicians.
Rounding out the top three is Kentucky, with a prediction of 4.4%. Kentucky is ranked #46 in terms of the quality of healthcare and was also one of the hardest hit states by the Covid-19 pandemic.
What are the top primary specialties of locum tenens physicians?
Currently, the top three specialties of locum tenens physicians are family practice accounting for 15.2%, internal medicine, which makes up 12.7%, and emergency medicine, with 9.8%.
Healthcare Insights are developed with healthcare commercial intelligence from the Definitive Healthcare platform. Want even more insights? Start a free trial now and get access to the latest healthcare commercial intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers.