Wednesday, January 16, 2013

As Obamacare moves forward, health care jobs to grow fast

As President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul mandate to obtain health insurance moves forward, a study found that Georgia will be one of two states with the fastest growth in healthcare job openings.

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul mandate to obtain health insurance. The Affordable Care Act would extend healthcare coverage to more than 30 million Americans with healthcare insurance. WellStar Health System appears to be positioned to handle the demands of the act.

WellStar CEO Reynolds Jennings called the Supreme Court's decision "a monumental ruling in American history."

"From the healthcare perspective, we believe this will result in hospitals and health systems increasing their range of services to meet the demands of the act," Jennings said. "In order to survive and prosper, it will be critical to have all the necessary acute and non-acute components for complete patient care. Fortunately, WellStar Health System is well positioned as it has been moving down this path for the past several years. We will be analyzing the new requirements once all of the mandate regulations are announced."

The study released Thursday by the Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce found that job openings will grow father in healthcare than in all other industries in 46 out of 50 states and in the District of Columbia.The fastest growth will be in Georgia and Utah with both at 38 percent. Georgia is expected to have 153,220 job openings between 2010 and 2020. "

WellStar Health System continues to remain strong and is expanding to meet the needs of the growing communities of northwest Georgia," WellStar spokesman Keith Bowermaster said.

Examples of that growth include two new outpatient facilities, called Health Parks, to be located in Cobb County and expected to generate 475 to 625 jobs, according to Bowermaster. Additionally, the health system is currently building a replacement hospital for the aging WellStar Paulding Hospital. That project is expected to generate 300 new jobs, plus an additional 200 with the addition of a new medical office building.

"At WellStar Douglas Hospital, we have seen a steady growth of team members over the past year and expect that to continue over the next several years with the growth and expansion of the hospital, such as the new intensive care unit and emergency department," Bowermaster said. WellStar has maintained its reputation as a employer of choice - meaning individuals in the healthcare field choose to work at WellStar over other entities - because of our excellent benefits, pay and work-life balance."

The study also found that healthcare jobs with the highest educational requirements will be in professional and technical healthcare occupations, which will require postsecondary education for 90 percent or more of those openings in 44 states and in D.C. It referenced anxiety about whether the United States will be able to produce the number of trained healthcare workers needed to meet demand given cuts to education spending by states in recent years.

“Failure to prepare an adequately trained healthcare workforce will have serious consequences beyond the economy,” Anthony Carnevale, the report’s lead author, said in a new release. “Access to care, quality of care and patient safety are what’s at stake.”

Another finding of the study is that labor productivity in healthcare is among the worst in the economy. It shows healthcare being one of the few industries where productivity actually declined since 1990. It also found that healthcare has the largest number of foreign‐born and foreign‐trained workers in the United States.

Among healthcare workers 22 percent are foreign born, compared to 13 percent of all workers nationally. Most foreign‐born nurses come from the Philippines, India and China. Read more: Douglas County Sentinel - As Obamacare moves forward health care jobs to grow fast

by Amanda Thomas / Douglas County Sentinel 6 months ago

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