AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. (NYSE:AHS) is the largest temporary healthcare staffing company in the U.S. by revenue, earning over $750 million in revenue. AMN provides temporary staffing of nurses, physicians (locum tenens), and medical assistants, as well as permanent physician placement services.
Economic downturns threaten temporary staffing companies, as clients prefer permanent staff to temporary professionals. Despite this, long-term growth in healthcare staffing is driven by the rising shortage of healthcare professionals, notably registered nurses, and growing demand fueled by the rapidly aging baby boomers.
Between 2000 and 2005, the shortage of qualified nurses in the U.S. increased from 110,800 to 218,800; in 2005, 10% of all demand went unmet as a result of this shortage. As nurses become more and more scarce relative to demand, hospitals and healthcare facilities turn to staffing agencies like AMN to meet their staffing needs. On the other hand, as competition increases for qualified nurses, companies have to offer higher compensation and more attractive benefits to stay competitive.
According to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans age 65 or over is growing faster than the general population. As a wave of baby boomers hits 65, this growth is expected to outpace growth of people age 64 and younger by as much as four times by the year 2020. Older people require much more healthcare per capita than younger age groups, meaning that the U.S. healthcare industry is having to grow to accommodate the additional demand. As hospitals and healthcare facilities find themselves short of nurses, physicians, and other medical professionals, staffing firms like AMN benefit from the increased demand for trained medical staff.
AMN Healthcare is the largest firm by revenue in the three fastest-growing segments of the healthcare staffing market: travel nurse and allied healthcare, locum tenens and physician permanent placement. In addition to competing with recruiting departments and interim staffing pools of healthcare facilities, some of the company’s main competitors in the sector include: