Healthcare Jobs: A Look Back at 2015

2015 was a landmark year for healthcare. Developments such as the implementation of ICD-10 coding, the Supreme Court’s upholding of the ACA’s federal subsidies program and the beginning of stage 2 of Meaningful Use EHR criteria paint a picture of the dramatic shifts the healthcare industry has seen over the past decade or so.

To begin to digest how all of these monumental changes have affected the healthcare job market, here are some of the prevailing trends seen in healthcare employment and staffing throughout 2015:

An Unprecedented Growth in Healthcare Jobs

Following the 2009 recession and the anemic jobs response to the ACA’s passing in 2010, many were concerned over the snail’s pace growth seen in the healthcare industry. Now that enough time has passed since these events, we have finally seen a true surge in healthcare hiring activities. So much, in fact, that the sheer volume is dizzying.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), around half a million healthcare sector jobs were added between September 2014 and September 2015. In total, the uptick represented a 3.2 percent growth in the total size of the industry.

Looking just at hospitals, 100,000 jobs were added during the same period. Some note the corresponding trends of the drop of uninsured Americans — which now stands at 11 percent — and the increased demand for healthcare services.

Registered Nurses Still on Top

Despite worries that the nursing job market may soon be oversaturated with fresh graduates, the BLS still anticipates the current nursing shortage to continue into 2022. The BLS notes that of the 11.8 million workers in the healthcare professional force, 2.7 million are nurses, making them the most numerous professionals in the industry.

IT Demands Fuel Support Position Growth

Massive changes brought on by EHRs, ICD-10 and the general modernization of medicine have placed tremendous technical knowledge burdens on healthcare administrations. To keep up, they have been onboarding new hires who can develop and oversee the implementation of IT strategies that enable better patient outcomes and more efficient care models.

The Financial Times observes that this hiring trend carries all the way up to senior staff. They claim that, “today, as well as a chief medical officer, the C-suite is also likely to include a chief analytics officer, a chief transformation officer or a chief information security officer.” There is also an increased demand for software vendors and training professionals to help provider organizations add to their staff’s skill set.

Physician Employment Growth in Hospitals Outpaces Private Practices

Experts note that hiring of full-time staff physicians in hospitals has become the new norm. Whereas 10 years ago the typical rate of physicians directly employed by hospitals was 11 percent, the number now is closer to 65 percent. The situation is such that newly-graduated physicians are far more likely to work for a hospital than in a private care practice.

The primary reason for this surge, according to people like Nick Fabrizio of the MGMA Healthcare Consulting Group, is that hospitals are motivated to have more control over patient experience. “If a hospital’s revenue is going to be more closely tied to care quality and patient outcomes, it’s only natural that they’re going to want to exert much more control over the care processes and clinical pathways that lead to those outcomes,” says Fabrizio. “There’s just so much more at stake today.”

What Will 2016 Bring for the Healthcare Jobs Market?

Looking back on 2015 can teach us a lot, but many providers are anxious to move forward and perfect their patient care processes as they reach towards a more outcome-focused future. Prepare for that uncertain future with more confidence than you dreamed by consulting TheraEx’s valuable continuing educational resources found by clicking here.

BlogRey Rivera