Author:
Bert Pickard, Director
HORNE Healthcare

Hiring is tough. Under normal circumstances, it’s challenging to staff your facility with reliable and high-quality caregivers. Not only are executive and financial leaders managing significant labor shortages, they may also find themselves wading through a labor pool that still hasn’t settled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Adding to this complexity, the 2021 changes to Stark and Anti-Kickback laws make it difficult to balance the demands of physician salary requirements, the federal government, and your own facility’s budget. 

As we settle into a “new normal,” it’s more important than ever to make data-informed hiring decisions so you remain compliant and profitable. Here are three reasons to consider reliable data before making any offers: 

1.) We still don’t understand how COVID-19 has impacted fair market value. 

2020 created incredible shifts in the labor pool which impacts fair market value—in ways that we couldn’t have predicted. For example, while overall physician compensation remained similar from 2019 to 2020, many specialties’ incomes shifted.1 

Plus, your team needs to make sure that you’re aligned with CMS’s recently revised definition of fair market value (effective January 19, 2021). High-quality data is critical for making offers that will attract the right physicians while remaining compliant. 

2.) New Stark Law updates go into effect in 2021. 

In November of 2020, CMS released new regulations (effective January 19, 2021) which enacted a new definition of commercial reasonableness and revised the volume or value standard. Both changes will impact how you make hiring decisions. Your executive, legal and financial teams need to work together to make sure your hiring practices are up to par in light of these new standards. 

3.) Bad hiring decisions come at a high cost. 

Regulations and cultural expectations are more nuanced than ever, so executive teams can’t afford to make decisions based on bad data. Forgoing research now might create more margin in the short term, but in the long run, you could be hit with exorbitant penalties, legal fees and settlement costs that could devastate your bottom line. In our current climate, you can’t afford not to invest in data. 

Data-informed hiring represents a powerful investment of your time and money. Whether it’s a Physician Needs Assessment, advice on federal compliance, or proprietary tools that help incorporate real-time data into your hiring process, HORNE LLP is ready to help you and your executive team make the most of your data and ensure the best hiring decisions possible. 

Contact HORNE today to understand how important data-informed hiring is to your facility’s future. 

1  Kane, Leslie, MA. “Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2021: The Recovery Begins” Medscape,

April 16, 2021.