How MSPs Are Holding Back Your Healthcare Facility

May 29, 2024

Healthcare companies have relied on PRN staffing agencies and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to maintain safe nurse-to-patient ratios for a long time. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Staffing agencies, and MSPs have become a hot topic among healthcare professionals—differences in things like flexibility and cost that set them apart from each other. 

Healthcare organizations that partner with Managed service providers tend to receive lower-quality service because of communication barriers and slower staffing response times. Because of this, more and more healthcare organizations are ending their contracts with MSPs and partnering with PRN staffing agencies.

What Does MSP Stand For?

MSP stands for Managed Service Provider.

What do MSPs do?

In healthcare, an MSP helps with workforce-related tasks for hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers. They help healthcare facilities find qualified medical professionals to fill open positions. They usually provide temporary staff, travel nurses, permanent hires, and more. They will usually partner with multiple PRN agencies to have a better chance at filling a healthcare facility’s needs.

Why Aren’t MSPs The Best Staffing Solution?

Managed service providers can be great for healthcare facilities. They can offer support on days when facilities are understaffed, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their fair share of issues.

Limited Flexibility

Managed service providers often work within pre-defined packages. These packages bundle certain groups of people based on services or staff qualifications. The packages MSPs offer don’t always align with the goals and needs of the healthcare facility that partnered with them. For example, let’s say a long-term care facility needs an LPN for a few shifts a week. The package may only offer RNs for full-time placements. Now the facility is left with two choices, pay the extra cost for an RN, or overwork one of their employees to meet safe nurse-patient ratios.

Limiting Your Workforce

An MSP offers a limited talent pool by limiting which agencies healthcare providers can partner with. They act as middlemen between facilities and staffing agencies. To a healthcare administrator, this is music to their ears. But behind the scenes, MSPs put staffing agencies in a predicament. Charge more, or pay less. When healthcare organizations partner with an MSP, the MSP will take a percentage of what the PRN agency makes to fill the shift. This can affect how much the agency can pay a nurse to work, and cause the shift to go unfilled because the rate is lower than other facilities in the area.  

Though a managed service provider can save healthcare administration time vetting and researching PRN agencies, it can oftentimes be a roadblock for healthcare providers to find the best PRN agency. 

Since traditional staffing agencies are left with the decision to raise rates or pay nurses less, they will often opt out of partnering with an MSP. This makes it so that healthcare providers may miss out on an agency that can help them with their unique needs because of hidden terms on their MSP contracts.

Slower Response Times

Managed service providers are speedbumps in patient care. They tend to offer slower response times than a PRN agency because they have to communicate with all of their PRN partners and staff rather than the facility communicating directly with their agency. As I previously mentioned, a shift posted by an MSP tends to pay less than one posted directly by a PRN staffing agency. This causes filling times to be slower than a PRN staffing agency.

Our Healthcare Staffing Solution

PRN Scheduling app that is replacing MSP

We felt like MSPs were taking advantage of healthcare organizations and staffing agencies, so we decided to create a platform that functions the same way, without all of the setbacks that keep them from being the ultimate staffing solution. 

We believe staffing agencies are here to help provide the best care for your patients. That’s why we aren’t standing in your way in your search for the best help you can get.  

Our portal allows healthcare organizations to send shifts to all of their agency partners, without taking anything from the agencies or nurses. We also won’t block you from partnering with other agencies through hidden contract terms. 

Since we aren’t trying to be a speedbump for other agencies, we’re able to provide highly qualified nurses who meet the unique needs of each of our facility partners and provide the care each of your patients deserves.  

Managed service providers seem like the most convenient option from the perspective of the people they sell to. But what is happening behind the scenes causes more harm than good to healthcare providers across the United States. 

Partnering with a PRN agency like Cascade gives a more personalized, flexible, and patient-oriented staffing experience.

What we do

Allied Healthcare & Nurse Staffing Services

Founded in 1988, Cascade Health Services is a leading healthcare and nurse staffing agency in the United States. More than 2,500 nurses, nurse aides and allied health professionals work with Cascade across the nation. We are hiring RN, LPN, LVN, CNA, CMA, CMT and other healthcare professionals for immediate Travel, Contract and PRN jobs in Nursing Homes, Long Term Care Centers, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living, Rehabilitation Centers and Hospitals.