Healthcare Workforce Trends to Watch in 2019
What healthcare industry trends will most likely to impact physician recruiting and healthcare hiring for the coming year?
Some trends are ones that are familiar to the healthcare industry, while there are several newer, more recent trends and developments that are difficult to predict – they could make a huge positive impact, a negative impact, or not much of an impact at all.
“I’d say that for 2019 we will see some more of the same trends such as market consolidation, and continued growth of physician employment,” states Steve Look, executive vice president of recruiting in the Dallas office of The Medicus Firm. “The Amazon entry into the market, as well as the CVS/Aetna merger certainly turned heads, as we wait and see how it will impact the market. To date, none of these developments have proven to effectively lower patient costs, so there’s skepticism on whether these deals will truly benefit the market, or just reduce competition and increase profits,” he concludes.
Below are a few trends predicted to most impact healthcare hiring, physician recruitment, and the medical workforce most significantly.
- Specialty Demand Shifts – After a few years of primary care doctors being the most sought-after physicians, it seems that there may be greater demand transpiring for psychiatry, neurology, and surgical specialties throughout the coming months of 2019. That said, primary care will still likely remain in the top 10-15 specialties.
- More Competitive, Creative Incentives – As Look mentioned, the trend for increased rates of physician employment (vs. private practice) appears to be here to stay. This means that hospitals, as employers, must grow increasingly creative and proactive with their compensation packages and incentives to lure potential physician employees and retain them.
- Telemedicine and Health IT Trends – With high-tech companies like Apple and Amazon entering the healthcare space, the healthcare workforce will likely go high-tech in ways never imagined before. Telemed and other mobile technology will allow physicians to provide treatment to patients remotely in unprecedented ways, hopefully providing access to treatment for more patients in shortage areas.
- Consolidation, Mergers, & Acquisitions – Private equity firms are buying up physician practices, hospitals are acquiring physician groups, and many large healthcare corporations are merging with one another, creating new types of healthcare business entities never seen before, such as the CVS/Aetna merger.
- Hospital / Health System Pricing Transparency – This is a huge development, but its potential impact on the healthcare workforce specifically remains to be seen. This information could potentially cause fluctuations in patient volume for some facilities based on how the information is received by the patient/consumer population in the area. Changes in patient volume and demand for services could impact the need for staff and physicians in various specialties for some facilities and force a job change for some.