Healthcare Jobs Report Summary
- Healthcare is amongst the oldest workforce
- New regulations are changing the industry and distorting the market
- New avenues for consumers to receive care
- Technological advancements are creating new healthcare markets
How was 2015 for Healthcare Jobs?
It is no secret that healthcare is one of the biggest industries in the U.S. and also one of the most heavily regulated. The $3 trillion healthcare industry continues to grow and added 474,700 jobs in 2015. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act mandate, combined with an aging population, has resulted in an increase in healthcare sector jobs to compensate for a growth in demand.
A new, growing trend in the healthcare industry is consumer use of technology. Emerging technologies that are available to the average American has changed how consumers access healthcare professionals. These new technologies include Uber-like healthcare app Heal as well as online communication with doctors.
How 2016 is Going
New generations have a habit of replacing old methods and this phenomenon can be observed in the healthcare industry. A survey conducted by Health Research Inc. (HRI) finds 60% of healthcare consumers are willing to have a video visit with a physician. The same survey also found that about ¾ of consumers age 18-44 would do a video visit while less than half of consumers 45 and older would be willing to.
As consumers and providers become more comfortable with technology we can expect to see a greater amount of healthcare interaction done via technological means. This includes the use of telemedicine such as the mobile app Heal, which will send a doctor to your home for a fee of $99.
Where is the Healthcare Jobs growth?
Jobs in healthcare are filled with an older workforce, leaving much room for future job growth as a large number of healthcare workers will retire and exit the workforce in the near future. Here are some statistics from the Department of Labor that demonstrate this point: the average age of a nurse is 50, a quarter of all physicians are 60 or older, and 80 percent of dentists are older than 45.
The age of the U.S. healthcare workforce presents a huge opportunity for job growth in the near future. An Institute of Medicine report projects that an extra 3.5 million health care workers will be needed by 2030 to keep the current U.S. worker to population ratio.
The healthcare market is also likely to experience growth through the use of technology. The mobile app Heal will lead to an increase in home doctor visits because it provides easy access to a doctor without having to deal with any bureaucratic red tape. Of course, whenever a new service emerges it is likely to be regulated, so legislatures may very well kill any growth in the healthcare sector from these technological advancements. These services are already largely unavailable in Alaska, Arkansas, and Louisiana where state legislatures have passed restrictions on telemedicine services.
Healthcare Job Market Challenges
The huge potential for growth as older healthcare professionals retire also presents a challenge for the healthcare industry. The healthcare labor market will experience a shortage of qualified professionals if there are not enough young people training for jobs in healthcare. This is good news for healthcare professionals because they will see an increase in wages to capture limited talent, but also means increased costs and possible waiting lines if the labor shortage is large enough.
Whether they’re desirable or not, economic regulations distort market efficiencies. Regulations in the healthcare industry are not going away and will likely increase if the market experiences labor shortages because there won’t be enough healthcare professionals in every city. Additional regulations that telemedicine will potentially face poses a challenge against advancing technology and will retard growth if implemented.