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The Transforming Healthcare Job Market

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The nation’s aging population and escalating healthcare needs for the “gray market” are among the market dynamics affecting the increase in healthcare hiring. “The number of older adults in the U.S. is increasing dramatically as the baby boomers retire and life expectancy increases,” writes Witt/Kieffer vice president Jena Abernathy in a recent Health News Digest article. She adds, “In their 2008 study Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce, IOM reports that while only 12% of the population is currently over 65, their utilization of healthcare services is disproportionately high: 26% of physician office visits, 35% of hospital stays and 34% of prescriptions.”

Healthcare reform has also opened up new and different job opportunities. Abernathy says, “A new age of accountability has dawned where hospitals are reimbursed based on performance and outcomes, not simply the volume of admissions or tests.” Healthcare leaders must now advocate for quality and patient satisfaction, not just cost reductions.

Additionally, new jobs are evolving – with new titles and skill sets – that did not exist until recently. Quality and cost elements are intersecting, and clinicians with business acumen are becoming more prevalent in the healthcare landscape. “Bright thinkers and visionary innovators will find plenty of career opportunities as healthcare organizations find new ways to deliver care and services to all segments of the population,” says Abernathy.

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