Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. (NASDAQ:CCRN) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
May 03, 2018 • 09:00 am ET
A. J. Rice
are you attributing that mostly to the way the market is reacting coming out of the hurricanes in the issues in the third quarter, are you sort of attributing that mostly to your own internal disruptions that you experienced in being sort of rebuild the order-book in the recruiting and so forth?
Yes, there may have been some minor disruption to our customers that were in the hurricane areas like in Florida, but that was not -- that was a minor part of it. It was really the fact that our travel nurse operation is based here in South Florida and we were closed for several days and then we had power outages and Internet outages and travel restrictions and schools closed for a couple of weeks afterwards. And it was that disruption that really was the driver of not being able to make the normal levels of placement. And as you know, once you don't make them, somebody else made them and you just don't get them back again.
A. J. Rice
And so you would say the -- your sense about the underlying tone on travel nurse segment just financially is still pretty robust, I don't know if you have a metric of positions filled, it's a open or it's filled or whatever that would -- on your MSPs, give a sense of how you perceive the underlying tone of the overall market to be?
Yes, so I'll make a short comment and I'll let Bill make a comment on how it kind of manifest itself. So dropping 550 people out on billing for the beginning of a quarter to the end of a quarter is a huge amount of heads-on billing for us. That's a step change that doesn't normally happen. And I'll let Bill explain, how it comes back again? And why it takes so long?
Yes. So two things, one to just follow up on Bill's point, so you only have the capacity to do so many assignments in clocks in a particular week. And so, we're certainly seeing the headcount rise steadily throughout the first quarter, but it's just very difficult to increase and try to cover that kind of a gap in a very short period of time. It's the timeframe of getting people through the pipeline, getting them submitted, getting them interviewed at the hospital systems, the capacity and bandwidth of the teams here to do all that work. So there's a kind of a constraint on how fast you can bring it all back. But there was another point I was going to make and I've just forgotten it.
Well, let me word it slightly different than Bill did. There was a step change in our billable headcount, but you can't just automatically make a step change in the number of placements you make each week. So-- so we can't automatically start making an extra 50 placements a week to try to make up for the 550 that fell off, because if we could