Increased Healthcare Worker Wages: Calculate Rising Overhead & Save Your Bottom Line

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Blakely Roth | December 13, 2023

Changes to healthcare worker wages are set to amplify practice costs and overhead. No specialty practice is immune. Between staffing shortages, rising labor costs and increases in patient demand for care — your practice needs a solution to maintain efficiency at a cost that won’t hinder your bottom line. 

Healthcare Staffing Cost Spikes are on the Horizon

The minimum wage for healthcare workers, including administrative staff, is increasing across the country. At the same time, staffing burnout, churn and rehiring are also increasing overhead costs and operational inefficiencies for practices.  

For specialty practices in California, labor costs will increase by 30%. Starting in 2024, healthcare staffing wages will grow to $21 per hour and phase up to $25 per hour in 2025. Nationally, the American Medical Group Association reports labor costs are up 10% and growing, as healthcare practices struggle with staffing levels. Adding to the growing burden, 56% of medical practices are increasing benefits packages, further raising overhead costs. These wage increases span across your entire staff, including physicians, nurses, clinical and administrative staff.  

example of growing wages for healthcare workers

How are healthcare practices navigating increased labor costs & shortages?

What’s the impact on your practice’s revenue when wages increase by 10%, or more? Calculate how rising healthcare wages impact your practice’s revenue, then prepare to adjust course. This infographic shares a formula you can use!

Spikes in healthcare wage costs aren’t just a result of legislation, they can also be tied back to competition for staff, increased overtime payouts and shortages in healthcare employees across the nation. These challenges have become a never-ending thorn in the side of growth for specialty healthcare practices. A Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) report notes, 56% of medical groups report staffing as their biggest productivity roadblock. Not only is it difficult to find staff but training them while facing constant churn has led 52% of medical groups to report scheduling or customer service as the top front-desk challenge. One practice faced this challenge head on, their Director of Operations, Jennifer Lott, says, “Like with most health groups, our phone room faced high turnover, and when you have so many providers with nuanced scheduling complexities, it gets difficult to constantly train new hires.” 

As practices go through hiring, training, burnout and churn, just to start the cycle over again — they will continue to incur administrative errors along with revenue loss and physician frustration. The most successful practices this year are the ones who’ve turned to automation to break the cycle.  

Use Automation to Improve Practice Efficiency Without Higher Overhead

No one is immune to these staffing challenges and costs, but you can take action to mitigate their impact on your operations, patients and bottom line — all in one fell swoop!  

The only answer is automation.  

Whether you’re looking to mitigate the impact of healthcare wage increases or an existing shortage of staff, automation will help you unlock your practice’s growth potential — helping you drive more profits than ever before.  

A recent report on the State of Patient Access in 2023 notes that 40% of providers say staff shortages have been offset by technology improvements. Automating menial or time-consuming tasks helps practices not just keep up, but also better allocate their staffing resources to manual tasks that can’t be supplemented with technology. Take similar action. 

Reduce time-consuming staff tasks around scheduling, clinical intake, registration, eligibility verification, communications and payment collection — by automating them. By automating these critical patient touchpoints you can reduce front-end staff work and reallocate or reduce the number of full-time employees (FTE) you need to run successful operations. 

Can Your Practice Afford to Overlook Automation Today?

Automation will provide you with a way to reduce FTE costs while increasing collections, data accuracy and reducing billing errors, further helping your practice patch profit leakage challenges. 

Automation not only helps you put time back into your practice, but it also puts money back into your pocket by reducing FTE spend, burnout and rehiring. Automation enables predetermined workflows to be used every time. When patients self-register at a kiosk they will input their own data, improving accuracy and will always be asked for payment. When patients schedule through an online solution, the platform won’t book a patient in a way that strays from provider preferences, no matter how demanding that patient is. The reality is you can’t guarantee this efficiency and collection success with administrative staff due to the human element.  

Lean into proven automated tools, to streamline time-consuming processes and reduce staff costs and burnout. Watch your revenue numbers skyrocket as a result. Learn more about Clearwave, the Patient Revenue Platform for high-growth practices. 

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