Future of Payments
September 19, 2023

4 Reasons to Prioritize Faster Pay for Healthcare Workers

The healthcare industry continues to grapple with its most significant challenge yet: a growing shortage of healthcare workers. According to the World Health Organization, there could be a deficit of 15 million healthcare professionals by 2030, leaving hospitals and medical practices struggling to provide adequate patient care. This pressing issue underscores the urgent need for healthcare companies to prioritize talent retention and take immediate action to reduce staff turnover rates.

Whether you’re a W-2 healthcare organization or a 1099 staffing firm, one highly effective and cost-efficient strategy for companies to adopt is the implementation of faster pay. Changing the pace of pay can have a profound impact on today's healthcare workforce, where nursing shortages persist, the on-demand economy heightens competition for talent, and even high-earning healthcare professionals grapple with financial uncertainty. Here are four compelling reasons to make faster payments for your healthcare workforce a top priority. 

1. Recruitment and Retention

In an industry experiencing severe labor shortages, accelerating the pace of pay is a strategic way to distinguish your organization. Notably, 79% of workers express a willingness to switch to an employer offering earned wage access, one type of instant payment that allows workers to take an advance on a portion of their own earnings before payday. Plus, if your healthcare staffing company recruits travel nurses or other participants of the gig economy, instant independent contractor payments can be an added perk to keep them loyal to your platform. 

2. Reduced Financial Stress

Several factors—including the global rise in inflation and the escalating cost of living—have collectively heightened financial insecurity for many. Healthcare-specific challenges such as substantial student loan debt have further exacerbated financial stress amongst healthcare professionals. A striking 58% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, a statistic that includes many indispensable healthcare workers, such as nurses, technicians, and custodial staff.

The introduction of faster pay systems extends beyond merely boosting morale within the healthcare sector. Offering instant payments can be a lifeline for healthcare pros, enabling them to cover essential expenses like groceries, utilities, and gas bills. It provides a critical financial cushion, so that they can avoid paying late fees, taking on debt, and dipping into savings. Instant payments also help people grapple with unexpected financial emergencies, such as medical bills and car repairs. 

For example, here’s how an ER technician at a major hospital system has been able to achieve greater financial stability through faster payments with Branch:

“I love my Branch Card because I can access my earnings when I’m low on funds or when I have unexpected bills and emergencies.”

3. Improved Workplace Satisfaction

On-demand pay in the healthcare sector can be a catalyst for significantly enhanced workplace satisfaction among healthcare workers. The immediacy of compensation not only addresses pressing financial needs, but also fosters a sense of appreciation and value from their employers. When healthcare professionals receive their hard-earned income quickly, it has the potential to boost morale and job satisfaction.. This heightened satisfaction can contribute to a more positive work environment, improved morale, and a greater sense of commitment to value-based care. It can also help to tackle burnout and help employees to stay in a job for longer periods of time.

4. Better Patient Outcomes

Combined with the lower turnover from increased retention, patients also benefit from faster pay for clinicians. A Gallup study found that the hospitals with the least engaged nurses spend $1.1 million more per year in malpractice claims. The same study revealed a direct correlation: higher nurse engagement scores corresponded to lower patient mortality rates and reduced complications. Improving the speed at which healthcare workers get paid can translate into better patient outcomes and a more fulfilling work experience for all involved.

A Win for Workers and Businesses

Faster pay offerings not only provide tremendous benefits for healthcare professionals, but also to the organizations that adopt them. Consider StaffHealth, a leading per diem staffing agency. StaffHealth partnered with Branch and reduced no-call, no-show rates to under 5% because of the instant gratification same-day pay provides. Clinicians know they can work a shift and get paid right away, generating loyalty and boosting StaffHealth's success.

The advantages of faster pay for healthcare workers are plentiful, from boosting morale and attracting new talent to securing the retention of essential team members. At the end of the day, prioritizing faster payments of all kinds not only helps healthcare organizations remain competitive in a constantly evolving labor market but also ensures the well-being of their valued clinicians, which is a win-win for everyone involved.

Learn More about Branch for Healthcare.

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