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Trends & Impact Series #3: ACA And Temporary Staffing, The Affordable Healthcare Act

Welcome to the third in the series of Staffing Industry Trends and Impact blogs from Barton Staffing Solutions. Today’s topic is The Affordable Healthcare Act, ACA and Temporary Staffing. These topics are the result of many RFP renewal requests we receive this time of year. As industry thought leaders, we share our observations to elevate the entire industry.

At this time, the ACA is probably the single-most moving target for the staffing industry and industries that rely on the temporary staffing for a temporary workforce. This blog won’t have the answers to the questions and details on the law (there are dozens of other resources to interpret the specifics of ACA). Instead, let’s look at and share insight in terms of operational factors and considerations, as a Barton Staffing Solutions client or potential client.

A Law in Flux. Clearly, we are watching the law’s implementation. Like similar laws in the past, this one has its political and administrative hiccups. We’re watching a major, broadly sweeping law launch in a technology-centric world. The dependencies on such huge legislated technology systems rolling out are enormous in a very complex industry ecosystem – healthcare. Be prepared for more changes as the rollout continues.

Technology Matters. Staffing firms rely heavily on ERP systems just like any other enterprise. A front office to identify, qualify and manage a supply chain of work-ready talent for its clients, and a back-office system that manages costs and administers A/R, A/P, G/L and other financial and operational functions. Software vendors are making updates regularly to these software systems for the staffing industry, as the rules, and implementation dates, adjust.

Pricing and Costs. Clearly, adding affordable healthcare to the cost model may have an effect on temporary workforce pricing. Be prepared for it, as a client. Like any other industry, regulatory-driven costs must somehow be integrated in the pricing model so your staffing firm can remain in business to serve you. The obvious downstream effects may mean your costs change.

The Primary Point…

Work closely with your staffing firm as the law is implemented. Legislators will continue to respond to the ebb and flow of demand and administrative directives. Like Social Security, Medicare, and other government programs, there are always changes during implementation that adjust the program in the initial months and years. Unlike these other programs in their initial years, the demand on technology in the initial roll-out of ACA is significantly higher.

As you partner with your staffing firm, collaborate with an open mind. The new equilibrium of sign-ups, demand, mini-med options, final costs, and more, have yet to find their balance, and it may take years.

Look for a staffing firm that has a strategic path of preparedness, has retained expert consultants and is staying abreast of the requirements of law for the ACA. Look for one that is ready to implement. If your staffing firm is doing a “wait and see” approach, this might affect your business, too. Ask your staffing partner what they have done to meet the ACA deadlines already past.

Take time to meet with your staffing firm, now, and learn about what they are doing to follow the implementation shifts and change in the law. Ask them how they are investing in technology to ensure that the financial and operational interaction of your firms goes smoothly, week to week. Have an open minded discussion about pricing to ensure smooth planning and execution over the coming year or two.

Barton Staffing Solutions would like to hear from you, and work together toward the future that the Affordable Care Act will bring to the staffing industry, and its continued support for your temporary workforce needs.