New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Staffing Challenges at NJ Ambulatory Surgery Centers

A recent study by the New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (NJAASC) revealed that 84% of New Jersey’s ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) have difficulty recruiting staff in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. NJAASC surveyed 108 ASCs representing 18 of the state’s 21 counties in during Q4 2022.

The “2022 Salary and Benefits Report” also shed light on some of the benefits ASCs are offering employees as part of their staff recruitment and retention efforts in the post-pandemic environment including:

  • Nearly 64% of ASCs reported that they offer their staff flexible work shifts.
  • More than 35% of respondents said they use a “travel agency” – an outsourced staffing provider that provides staffing that commits to a minimum of three months in a given role — to cover staffing vacancies.
  • More than one-fifth of ASCs use “agency staff” – temporary workers who cover a shift or a day – to meet their immediate staffing needs.
  • Nearly 89% of ASCs said they let staff work from home. The positions might include patient scheduling, billing and administrative work.

“The Great Resignation was one contributing factor to the staffing shortage at ASCs in New Jersey and nationally; but the healthcare industry overall is dealing with a shortage of qualified medical professionals,” noted Joan McKibben, an NJAASC board member and chairperson of its benchmarking committee, which conducted the survey. “As a result, ASCs, like other points of care within the healthcare ecosystem, must compete for top talent.”

To that end, New Jersey’s ASCs offer many popular benefits to ASC staff in an effort to attract and retain employees. Of the 108 centers that responded to the NJAASC survey, the most popular benefits offered to ASC staff in 2022 were:

  • Paid Vacations – 104 centers
  • Paid Holidays – 104 centers
  • Health insurance – 101 centers
  • Offered a 401k plan – 94 centers

“Our study underscores how New Jersey’s ASCs are, in fact, competing aggressively for the best providers and staff by offering competitive benefits packages, and flexible schedules and workplace arrangements,” noted Meg Stagliano, president of the board of NJAASC. “In addition, ASCs as a workplace offer other benefits that appeal to potential employees, including weekends and holidays off, predictable work hours with flexibility, and not having to be on call for emergencies – all of which can contribute to a healthy work-life balance.”

NJAASC is an incorporated, non-profit organization which was founded in 1992 by owners of ambulatory surgery centers. Its membership is currently comprised of approximately 200 ambulatory surgery centers and 50 vendors and associate members.

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