Despite earlier reports about a slowdown in job growth in hospitals in 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a robust increase in 2014, continuing through January 2015. The healthcare sector added 38,000 jobs in January; hospitals alone added nearly 10,000 jobs. In 2014, the healthcare sector averaged 26,000 new jobs per month.
Job growth occurred in January throughout the provider sector:
- 9,600 jobs—hospitals
- 13,400 jobs—physicians’ offices
- 7,000 jobs—nursing and residential care facilities
- 4,100—home health care services
Industry experts expect the trend to continue, and credit the increase to several factors including:
- Improved health insurance coverage through public marketplaces/exchanges
- More employer-sponsored insurance as overall hiring increases
- Increased Medicaid coverage
- Surge in hospital utilization by for-profit hospitals, especially in states that adopted voluntary Medicaid expansion
Too Early to Tell . . .
Increased hiring means more expenses, analysts noted, and thus could signal an increase in overall increase in healthcare spending. Healthcare spending has undergone an historic slowdown over the last several years, due in large part to the Great Recession and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Hospitals and other providers have a delicate balance to maintain, juggling various pockets of increased utilization with imperatives to continue to cut costs.
Another unknown remains the effect of consolidation on jobs. Many predicted that increased consolidation would necessitate job loss in hospitals as services were combined, scaled down and/or were eliminated across a large spectrum of delivery sites. The latest reports (Irving Levin and Associates and Kaufman, Hall & Associates) show hospital transactions actually declined in 2014, and any efficiencies created by merger and acquisition activity have yet to materialize.
(Source: “Hospital Job Surge Continues into 2015,” HFMA Weekly, February 13, 2015)
iProtean subscribers, the new advanced Quality course, Board Mindsets to Drive Value, featuring Stephen Beeson, M.D., and Larry McEvoy, M.D. is now in your library. Dr. Beeson and Dr. McEvoy offer suggestions about working with physicians to build a different kind of organization where collaboration, innovation and change will become the norm.
In March, look for the new advanced Governance course, Two Imperatives for Boards, featuring Tom Dolan, Ph.D. and Karma Bass of Via Healthcare Consulting. Ms. Bass will be an expert presenter at iProtean’s upcoming symposium.
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