What industry had eight of the top 15 jobs listed in U.S. News & World Report’s 100 Best Jobs List? Healthcare. With changes to administration and insurance, advancements in technology, and a physician shortage, 2014 promises to be an eventful year for the healthcare industry.
Administration and Insurance
The Affordable Care Act will undoubtedly bring new challenges in 2014. Saying that switching to ICD-10 from ICD-9 is an enormous task to undertake is an understatement. The system is going from 14,000 codes to over 69,000 codes. Physicians will need to be educated on the concepts of what needs to be recorded in patient records. Facilities will have to hire support staff to help with these changes.
Moreover, we’ll see the older physicians leave practice before their time and fewer residency spots open to counteract the loss.
These changes will undoubtedly affect healthcare costs, but it’s uncertain as to what extent. Will that ACA deliver on the promise of reducing costs while improving quality of care?
The switch to electronic medical records will require staff to be adept and specialized in new healthcare information technology. Facilities may need to spend money to bring in trainers to ensure their teams are skilled at the new systems and the transitions go smoothly. This switch has to take place simultaneously as hospitals prepare for the conversion to ICD-10.
On the patient front, health systems will embrace new technology to improve patient experience. Patients want, and should be, more involved in their healthcare decisions. Innovation on this front will help keep patients from moving to other systems that prioritize patient satisfaction.
What does all this mean for jobs? The switch to the new coding system and the introduction of EMRs mean there is, and will be for a while to come, a need for specialized roles and an increase in support staff. Medical billers and coders will be in high demand, and ultimately, the full implementation of the ACA will also mean there will be a shortage of physicians and a need to cover for the shortage of care.
To help cover this shortage, there will be an increase in the number of nursing opportunities available. Nurse practitioner, new to U.S. News’ top jobs list this year, is on the list at number 4. Registered nurse comes in at 6. Since NPs are qualified to write prescriptions and perform physical exams, this position will help ease the effect of the predicted physician shortage.
History has shown us that healthcare is a consistent creator of jobs, making it the strongest job area of the economy right now.