April 5th, 2012
By: John Rossheim, Senior Contributing Writer
Our weekly update of healthcare news:
Will Healthcare Hiring Continue as the Court Deliberates?
The justices of the US Supreme Court made at least one thing clear last week: the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is under close scrutiny.
Pointed questions from conservative members -- and especially from potential swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy -- called into question the constitutional challenges put before it in oral arguments.
While we await a likely June ruling from the Supreme Court, will healthcare employers keep up their healthcare hiring levels? Probably.
“Even before healthcare reform, there was already a shortage of experienced folks,” says John Fulcher, Western director of healthcare recruiting for Bauer Consulting Group, an MRI Network affiliate in El Paso, Texas.
Fulcher adds, “The Affordable Care Act means the patient population increases, so there are going to more jobs created. “It’s a candidate-driven market; you have to have the offer letter ready to go and try to get them to sign it in front of you.”
And regardless of the ultimate fate of reform, some healthcare staffing strategies will continue to drive healthcare recruitment activity, including the need to recruit for HITECH. “My direct-hire business has exploded because hospitals are trying to save money by converting contract positions to permanent,” says Fulcher.
If the high court leaves healthcare reform essentially intact, healthcare hiring likely will accelerate in the intermediate term.
“In 2013, the ACA will change things a lot more,” says Fulcher. The law’s implementation deadlines for next year include additional funding for state Medicaid programs, increased Medicaid payments for primary care doctors, and expansion of the nascent Medicare bundled payments program, which gives providers financial incentives to achieve better outcomes for lower costs, rather than simply charging a fee for each service provided.