We've surpassed the first month of an all but ordinary start to the year, but the confusion within the healthcare industry continues to loom overhead like that office cough that just won't quit. Here is a check-up on the current state of healthcare employment and staffing market as it stands today (read: right now).
What We Know
Healthcare staffing will continue to grow in 2017
According to the strategic assessment and forecast of the Healthcare Staffing the US, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 13.70% by 2021. This growth is attributed to both temporary and permanent medical positions in acute care hospitals and non-acute care hospitals, government facilities, outpatient clinics, schools, and other facility and retailer settings.
Things just got a little more complicated
Yesterday marked the last day to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Healthcare Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. While the future state of Obamacare still lies restlessly in the hands of the Republicans, to quote Steven M. Safyer, the President and CEO of Montefoire, a hospital located in the Bronx, "We are in the midst of a challenging time." However, Safyer wasn't referring to the transition of repealing Obamacare but instead, to the recent travel ban imposed by President Trump. In an article featured in Health Leaders Media, Safyer explained how the travel ban creates an immense gray area when it comes to the treatment and release of information pertaining to immigrant patients. While a little off topic, this only continues to add to the confusion surrounding the great divide involving healthcare coverage in America.
What We Aren't Sure Of
Healthcare Hiring Practices
While there is, undoubtedly, a shortage in the supply of healthcare professionals, the hiring dynamic, particularly between independent groups versus healthcare systems, is a bit shaky. As hospital groups acquire independent organizations, they then take on the responsibilities of employee management. For better or for worse, hospitals, who currently employ roughly half of all of the physicians in the United States, are guiding the trends in employee attraction and retention when it comes to hiring hospital healthcare professionals. One too many bad experiences with local hospital groups could be disastrous to the industry as a whole; especially when vying for the attention of up-and-coming physicians.
Perhaps that is why, according to a 2017 Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends, 94 percent of hospitals, medical groups, and other healthcare facilities "used temporary physicians in 2016, a three percent increase over 2014 and a 20 percent increase from 2012."
So why are present-day physicians more likely to take on temporary work? According to Healthcare Finance, the answer varies:
- The hospital-employed physician model is eclipsing physician practice ownership.
- With the newer model of hospital employment, physicians have more chances to change jobs, which creates more job openings and the need for fill-in physicians.
- Employed physicians also typically get a month of vacation time, as well as continuing education time, which also creates the need for temporary staff.
What It Means for the Future of Healthcare Employment
For starters, continued uncertainty is imminent until further clarification is provided on the "repeal and replace" strategy.
Next, there are a number of predicted health IT trends which could open the doors to a number of new positions, roles and responsibilities within the healthcare community. These will likely stretch paper thin resources within HR, talent acquisition and IT departments.
Lastly, regardless of the regulations selected, a streamlined healthcare staffing and employment program is needed to ensure access to high-quality health professionals. With growth comes opportunity followed by competition. Ensure your talent management team is equipped with adequate sourcing and reporting resources to target healthcare talent professionals. As the landscape changes, so too will your healthcare staffing needs.