How Obamacare Will Affect Healthcare Staffing
The healthcare staffing industry has been plagued with shortages for years. Now that Obamacare is here, it is becoming easier to see just how fragile the healthcare system is. It takes time and money to train new doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, in some cases decades. With the rise in the cost of higher education, there has been a decline in the amount of certain graduates, such as doctors and nurses. With fewer graduates from nursing and medical schools to take on certain roles and responsibilities, more and more patients are encountering longer wait times, less accessibility to healthcare providers, higher costs and less time with their healthcare providers. But what does this all mean for healthcare staffing
Millions More Have Access
Millions more Americans have access to healthcare, yet the impact to healthcare staffing is much wider than previously thought in certain areas and not as widespread in others as many think. To understand the implications, one has to look at the facts. Individuals age 65 and older have Medicare. Younger Americans who already have health insurance and those who are now covered under the Affordable Healthcare Act do not necessarily use their benefits unless they need to. This has created a demand for healthcare professionals and services in some areas.
With so much stress on the healthcare system, there is bound to be an overload. There are limited resources and personnel available. When one factors in the logistics of expanding patient care, it becomes a burdensome trickle effect that will ultimately put more stress onto an already boggled down system, creating more trials for its workers in the form of heavier workloads, more responsibilities and less worker and patient satisfaction.
Ripple Demand and Healthcare Professional Roles
There is a huge demand for doctors and physicians that can’t be met overnight. Many recruitment and healthcare staffing firms are experiencing many challenges while searching for qualified talent. Since it takes years to train doctors, the responsibility of caring for Americans is falling to other closely qualified professionals, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
Healthcare organizations are making physician assistants and advanced practitioner nurses step up into the role of doctor to fulfil certain healthcare responsibilities in an effort to meet patient demand. This is creating a shift in the priorities and responsibilities for doctors and other healthcare professionals all across the board. Physician assistants are expanding their offerings to provide patient centered care while healthcare organizations compete for them.
As more healthcare organizations move to lighten the loads of their doctors so they can branch off into their own private practices, the demand for advanced practice nurses will rise, creating a shortage in registered nurses and nursing assistants.
Pharmacists, pharmacist technicians and diagnostic technicians will also see an increase in the amount of opportunities that are available. As more of the millions of insured people start to use their benefits, there will be an increase in the need for these professionals. However, the demand is one that can be met because there are currently more professionals in the field than there are opportunities.
Demand Continues to Tax an Already Fragile System
Many expected the Affordable Healthcare Act to create mass opportunity for the healthcare staffing industry as a whole. However the exact impact was not understood until several years later after the passing of the bill.
While the Affordable Healthcare Act was created to make the dream of health insurance more accessible for millions, some of its expected consequences have created opportunities for today’s generation of professionals. As shortages for healthcare professionals continue to plaque the system, more attention will be given to the creation and implementation of funding programs and initiatives to incentivize and encourage professionals to seek out training, so they can take advantage of the employment opportunities that come about.
Not only will funding increase in the training and employment sector, it will also increase the amount of programs that employers create to attract healthcare workers. Loan repayment programs, grants, and every recruitment tactic that can be thought of will be used lure more professionals and encourage them to earn the highest credentials possible for their fields to help eliminate the shortage of qualified healthcare workers.
These shortages can’t be filled overnight. As organizations continue to come up with ways to meet the demand for workers to lighten the burden on an already heavily taxed system, highly qualified healthcare professionals have their pick of opportunities to choose from. Not only are healthcare staffing agencies and organizations competing heavily for these professionals, they are using every recruitment ploy they can come up with.