Obamacare Greatly Boosting Areas of Healthcare Staffing

Obamacare has been receiving plenty of criticism due to accusations that the health care law will hurt employees by eliminating positions or reducing hours to part-time. While the actual effects are still relatively unknown, staffing recruiters and HR professionals are confident that Obamacare will help drive job growth in certain areas.

Since PRN Funding works with numerous healthcare staffing companies, let’s take a look at the positions that are prepping for fast growth in the healthcare realm.

1. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants
Due to an increased demand for routine checkups and preventative medicine, physician services are set to increase at least 2 to 3 percent by next year. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants can perform similar services for the fraction of the cost of a doctor. Not to mention, general physicians are still in short supply and take much longer to enter the workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the demand for PA’s will swell by 30 percent and staffing for registered nurses will increase 26 percent by 2020.

2. Medical billing coders
Healthcare IT staffing will be huge. Combine the requirements for healthcare facilities to transition to electronic health records and comply with a new medical coding system (ICD-10) with millions of newly insured patients and you have a recipe for lots of jobs to fill.

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) will include a staggering 69,000 diagnostic codes and physicians will be required to submit claims with the new codes starting Oct. 1, 2014 if they want to get paid. Lots of healthcare IT staffing will be necessary to build these codes into the electronic health records software. According to Staffing Industry Analysts, medical coding is one of the hottest jobs right now.

3. Occupational therapists
Occupational therapists make appropriate modifications to the homes and workplaces of the disabled to accommodate their mobility needs. Since Obamacare prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage, more disabled people will be able to take advantage of health insurance coverage. The BLS forecasts a 43 percent spike in occupational therapy employment by 2020.

4. Wellness and fitness coaching
The need for health education specialists is expected to rise by 37 percent in 2020, according to the BLS. Many employers will want to encourage healthy lifestyles, so the demand for workplace wellness programs will skyrocket.

Aside from healthcare staffing, Obamacare is also expected to help spur career growth for payroll service providers, computer programmers, lawyers, insurance consultants, customer service reps and human resources professionals.

Trucking Companies and Cash Flow: What are the Options?

Though often overlooked, the trucking industry is vitally important to the health of the US economy. Think about it: without truck drivers delivering goods, interstate commerce would grind to a screeching, tire-burning halt.

Unique Challenges

Despite the importance of trucking companies, the way the system is structured often leaves them in a shaky financial position. Truck companies submit invoices for services rendered, and then often wait 30-90 days for payment on the accounts receivables.

For a bigger company with large cash reserves, waiting to be paid would not be a problem. But for small to mid-size companies operating on a tight budget, it might not be an option. Expenses such as payroll and gas add up in the time between payment, and not paying your drivers is never a good business practice. Add to that rising fuel costs, delays due to traffic congestion, driver shortages and new regulations, and it is a recipe for financial hardship.

Therefore, trucking companies often have to turn to outside financing. The following are some options for trucking companies to consider:

Asset-Based Lending

Also known as factoring, this options refers to the process by which businesses sell their accounts receivables to a factoring company.  Approval for factoring is based on the creditworthiness of the trucking company’s customers.

At the time of the sale, the client gets 80-90% of the cash back immediately from the invoices. The remainder of the balance comes after customer repayment, less a percentage fee that typically ranges from 1-5%.

This option is best for B2B companies that cannot afford to wait for payment, and the cost is usually 4-5% monthly with an effective annual interest rate typically between 18-30%.

Bank Loans

Though hard to come by, bank loans are often the cheapest form of financing. The loan process involves an application and review of the company’s creditworthiness and financial history. Small companies especially tend to be turned down for loans, although exceptions do exist.

After approval, fund disbursement usually takes about 30-90 days to reach a trucking company’s bank account. This form of funding is best for trucking outfits with a great credit history and don’t need the money immediately.


Cash advances take place when a company receives an advance sum from a lender. The company pays the lender back with percentages of their monthly card receipts until the loan (plus a predetermined rate) is repaid. There are legal limits to the rates, and they cannot be changed retroactively. The benefit to cash advances is immediate cash- it is the fastest method for obtaining cash without going to a loan shark.

This financing method is best for trucking companies who need immediate cash for a short amount of time and have limited financing options. The cost is usually 20% and up.


A trucking company may choose to sell property, plant, and/or equipment, and simultaneously leases it back for cash.

It is best for trucking companies with valuable plant or equipment assets that are underutilized, and the cost is monthly lease payments plus the depreciation and tax burdens of equipment.

Choices, Choices

Every trucking company is unique, and it is up to them to find funding solutions that meet their individual needs. Being informed on all the options is the first step toward finding a suitable cash flow solution.

How to Factor Your Freight

Waiting to get paid for work you have already done is a pain, but waiting for money when you have bills to pay is a huge problem. Trucking companies in particular often face cash flow problems when invoices from loads go unpaid for long periods. The work is done, but the cash is often tied up in accounts receivable. For a large trucking company with consistent cash flow, this might not be a problem—but for small and medium sized companies, sometimes waiting to be paid is not an option.

Freight factoring is one alternative financing option for trucking companies that get rejected for a bank loan. Approval for factoring is based on the credit worthiness of the freight customers, not the company’s credit, and therefore is much more likely than with a bank. Factoring is also a flexible option that allows for same-day cash. Here are the steps to take when deciding to factor freight:

Do research: Only choose factors with knowledge of the industry. Not everybody has someone on the staff who has worked with the industry before, so be picky.

Don’t hurry: Plan in advance so you don’t feel obligated to factor invoices urgently. Doing so could result in getting caught in a contract that you don’t want, or making costly mistakes. Take your time and find the best fit for your individual needs. Some companies offer back-office billing services or one-time invoice factoring agreements. Figure out what is best for you.

Start the process: Contact the company and you will get placed with an account manager. They can help you navigate the process and start getting cash right away for your receivables.

For more information on freight factoring, see here.

How is the Sequester Impacting Staffing Services?

The first effects of sequestration are starting to be felt, and staffing agencies are feeling the ripples. Some in the recruiting industry are starting to see signs of agitation in the workforce market as companies begin to change their hiring strategies. According to the Washington Post, the current trend seems to be companies turning to staffing experts and wanting a “super multitasker” that can do the jobs of many. Many hiring managers also want to hire as soon as possible, because as the sequester drags on it could decrease the budget even more.

As more clients turn to staffing agencies, the agencies themselves may be in need of increased cash flow so they can accept more business. Factoring companies that specialize in the staffing industry should take heed, as they might see an increase in demand for staffing and payroll financing. Turmoil often leads to opportunity, and it’s those who take advantage of opportunity that come out on top.

2013 Online Factoring Workshop

Factoring professionals, do you have a few hours to spare a day between April 30th and May 2nd? Before you say no, keep in mind that you wouldn’t even have to leave your desk. The Commercial Finance Association (CFA) is hosting a three day virtual workshop on 2013 Factoring and Managing Client Risk.

Those who should attend include:

Existing or new employees of factoring companies

Those in operations, account executive and credit/underwriting roles that either want or broader understanding or a comprehensive refresher in general principles

Staff members in specialist (accounting, branding etc.) or new business roles that want a broader understanding

For those interested, sign up here. Continuing education is important for those who want to stay on top on trends and on top of the industry.

Some Call for Medical Billing Act

Medical billing is a complex process, and like anything that involves money and credit it is sometimes controversial. While no one likes getting a medical bill, but sometimes it is even worse than that and customers are left with ruined credit over procedures and charges they don’t even remember incurring. Credit advocate Call 12 for Action is currently investigating medical billing issues, and are pursuing legislation that would treat medical billing the same as credit card billing. Credit card billing has the The Fair Credit and Billing Act, a strong consumer protection law that gives customers rights when disputing bills.

A big problem with current medical billing is that unpaid bills are sometimes reported to credit agencies before they have a chance to be paid or while being processed by insurance. Therefore, a current bill that Call 12 for Action is backing is the Debt Responsibility Act, introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore, which would prohibit credit-reporting agencies from using paid or settled debts to determine credit ratings.

A reformed billing process might cause cash flow issues for medical providers, and that’s where factoring comes in. Medical factors solve cash flow issues for facilities that need it, and if the bill passes then medical providers might just need it.

For the full article, see Credit Advocates Calls for Medical-Billing Act

Navigating Client Relationships

In our last post, we talked about some ways to deal with problematic payers. In this one, we will be discussing how factors can keep their clients happy before it comes to that. The accounts receivable team at a factoring company is responsible for almost all the interaction with customers, including resolving issues and collecting payments from customers. They must strike a delicate balance between keeping customers happy and collecting on debts, or risk 1) getting walked over or 2) losing clients because of bad experiences. In an article on The Press Enterprise, author Sarah Cullins offers a few tips on how to achieve this balance.

Contact Person: From the onset of the business relationship, make sure the client knows exactly who to contact should problems arise. Have the account manager give them a quick introductory call to make sure everything is in order, too- a personal touch can go a long way.

Thank Yous: Simple thank you cards or emails for prompt payments can also be a nice touch. Don’t hesitate to call your clients and tell them how much you appreciate their business, or give them some free social media press. Great relationships are good business.

Phone Etiquette: It is crucial to be friendly on the phone, even when frustrated. Cooler heads always prevail so make sure your account managers keep this in mind. When it is necessary to collect past due payments or the like, the key is to be understanding and proactive rather than accusatory.

These tips can help a factoring company strike a balance between sales-y and firm, and keep great client relationships that could lead to coveted referrals.

Factoring Increasing Overseas

The process of invoice factoring is becoming more and more popular around the globe as more people become aware of the potential benefits. According to an International Factoring Association article, demand for factoring is sky high in the country of Kazakhstan, the largest economy in Central Asia. It grew by nearly 200% in 2012 with transaction volumes estimated at $30 million USD.

Factoring in Kazakhstan

Factoring is relatively new to the Kazakhstan financial market, as it entered after the economic crisis there in 2009. Since then, the country has had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and the factoring industry is growing at a rapid rate. Experts say that factoring is popular because commodity buyers and sellers and small-to-medium businesses can receive immediate payments from shipped goods, when normally they would have to wait. Because factoring is still in its infancy there, a main niche has not yet emerged. Six main factoring companies exist at the moment, and banks are starting to show more interest in the process.


Factoring is increasing throughout the world as more countries catch on. Factoring is now a trillion dollar industry and appears almost everywhere, and transactions have increased by the following amounts on the main continents since 2009:

Americas: 21%

Africa: 5%

Asia: 57%

Australia: 5%

Europe: 11%

It is clear that factoring is increasing on a global level, and that more markets are opening up worldwide. Now is a good time to be in the international factoring business, as there are untapped markets all over the world.

The Effects of Sequestration

With just days until March 1st, sequestration is on the forefront of most working people’s minds. Due to the failure of the government to come to a workable agreement on spending cuts, automatic across-the-board cuts are scheduled to come into effect two days from now. Many government programs and jobs will be impacted, as well as the businesses that work directly and indirectly with them. While exemptions from the cuts do exist, sequestration will have far reaching implications for industries like healthcare as well as business in general.

Sequestration and Healthcare

The healthcare industry has a lot to potentially lose from the $85 billion spending reduction due on March 1st. While Medicare cuts have been restricted to no more than 2% of the budget (unlike most programs at 4% or more), healthcare experts say that the cuts will cost the industry over 200,000 jobs. Government officials say that coverage for those under Medicare will not change, but providers like hospitals are facing a potential 27.4% reduction in Medicare reimbursement. This puts them in a tough financial position– hence the job losses. The largest share of provider cuts goes to hospital inpatient care, at 32%, while group plans, outpatient care, home health agencies and skilled nursing facilities make up the brunt of the rest.

Certain portions of Medicare are exempt from cuts, such as the Part D low income subsidies, catastrophic subsidies, and Qualified Individual premiums. Medicaid and Social Security are exempt completely.

Sequestration and Business

While healthcare looks to be impacted greatly, business in general will be hurting even more so. George Mason University economist Dr. Stephen Fuller estimates that in 2013 alone, sequestration will put 2.14 million jobs at risk. This includes over 950,000 small business jobs from government supplier companies as well as mom-and-pop stores that deal indirectly with government contracts. Companies with 500 employees or less are facing up to 45% of job losses in the coming year. He also predicts a decrease in personal earnings of $109.4 billion as well as a GDP reduction of $215 billion. In an already struggling economy, this bodes ill for the coming months and years.

Specific Effects

Here are some examples of how sequestration will affect specific industries:

Defense: The active military remains untouched, however, civilian Defense Department pay is expected to decrease by around 20%. 46,000 temporary and term workers will be laid off, and furloughs will affect the rest. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that national security could be harmed as a result.

Education: Special Education grants and Head Start funding will be reduced, as well as federal child care assistance. Thousands of teachers, aides, and speech therapists will be affected, and low income children are expected to suffer the most damage. For higher education, federal financial aid programs such as work-study will be cut by about 8.2%.

Air Travel: Federal Aviation Administration employees would be furloughed by 11 days, hampering air travel around the country as less air traffic controllers and technicians will be on duty. Security will also be affected, and wait times could increase dramatically.

Housing: Low-income families could potentially lose 125,000 housing choice vouchers, and about 100,000 formerly homeless people will lose their current housing and go to the streets once again. Foreclosure prevention advice will also decrease as HUD counseling grants will be reduced by 75,000 families.


Without some sort of bipartisan miracle in the next couple of days, sequestration will soon become a reality. The meat cleaver approach seems like an inefficient way to reduce spending, but hopefully it will serve as a wakeup call for the government to put aside differences in order to do what’s best for the country. Businesses should do what they always do in tough times- prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. After all, one thing that can never be “cut” is the indomitable American spirit of enterprise.

UCC Article 9 Amendments: What Factors Need to Know

According to a Commercial Factor article, a bevvy of amendments to the Secured Transactions portion of the UCC code will become effective on July 1st, 2013, and will directly affect the factoring business.  While the changes are not drastic and are intended mostly for clarification, factors should be aware of the coming changes and how they will have to alter their operations to conform to the standards.

Debtor Name on Financing Statement: The rule as it is right now is that an “individual name” must be used on a Financing Statement, with no other guidelines. The 2013 amendment attempts to avoid confusion and improper filing by requiring that the name be as it appears on an unexpired driver’s license issued in the state the statement is in, or if they don’t have a driver’s license then it should the last name and first surname.

Perfection Rules: The existing law says that if there is a change of state for a debtor, there is a four month grace period to file a new Financing Statement in the new state. However, it does not apply to property bought between the move and the new filing. The amendment will change this exception.

Financing Statement Forms: The Financing Statement form has been modified in a few ways, including a removal for the field for social security numbers. Factors must be aware that some states might not accept the new forms without the SSN.

These are just a few changes to the rules, but will probably be the most pertinent to factors. It’s important to be up on new laws, no matter how insignificant, to avoid confusion and misfiling.