The Flexwise Approach to Health Care Staffing
It’s true — there are a lot of startups that are entering into the per diem nursing market right now.
And it’s no wonder why that’s happening. Understaffing at facilities has led to nurses’ strikes across the nation. While many qualified nurses would love to pick up extra shifts on a per diem basis, access to those job postings has been limited to agencies and recruiters.
It just makes sense. Why not give nurses access to open shifts and empower them to own their careers?
At Flexwise, we couldn’t agree more. So, we entered into what is becoming a very crowded race to solve the staffing issues in hospitals and health care facilities today.
We do one thing very differently...
Most of the other entrants into the per diem nursing market require nurses to operate as independent contractors. That means nurses are responsible for every detail surrounding their careers, from maintaining credentialing and liability insurance to income taxes and everything in between. This is comparable to the way that ride-sharing services, like Uber or Lyft, operate.
At Flexwise, however, we serve as the employer of record for all of our nurses. This means that we function similarly to an agency in many regards; we screen all of our nurses, ensure that credentials are up-to-date, maintain liability insurance and pay taxes. Flexwise nurses are our employees. In fact, if our nurses reach a certain workload, we offer them benefits, just as any other employer or agency would. The difference is that our employees have direct access to view open shifts and can accept shifts directly within our app.
While that may not seem like a super huge deal, it may become one in the not-so-distant future. A recent court ruling in California has potentially changed how employers must classify independent contractors, or else face stiff penalties.
Josh Eidelson of Bloomberg (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-contract-workers-20180806-story.html) writes:
“Federal and California laws entitle employees to a suite of rights including minimum wage, overtime pay, protection from sexual harassment, payroll tax contributions from employers and the chance to win collective bargaining. Those perks don’t extend to independent contractors, a category for workers with greater autonomy to choose the terms of their work. The boundary between an employee and a contractor can be fuzzy, though, and is defined differently under different laws. The question of who gets employee protections has been hotly contested in a slew of government agency proceedings and lawsuits around the country, frequently targeting app-based sectors such as ride-hailing as well as older industries such as trucking and healthcare.”
So, will hospitals be able to use nurses that are independent contractors? We don’t know; the ruling is currently being appealed.
What we do know is that as our employees, Flexwise nurses will continue to have access to work available shifts. And that’s a win for a nursing community that is understaffed nationwide.