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Top 10 physician specialties that will grow the most by 2025

Growth in Number of Physician Specialists: 2010 to 2025

Important note: This source EXCLUDES primary care physicians.  The analysis was for non-primary care specialists only.

  • 64 percent increase: Physical medicine
  • 55 percent increase: Pediatric subspecialites
  • 54 percent increase: Emergency medicine
  • 40 percent increase: Neurology
  • 35 percent increase: Dermatology
  • 34 percent increase: Neurological surgery
  • 32 percent increase: Radiation oncology
  • 26 percent increase: Vascular surgery
  • 25 percent increase: Radiology
  • 23 percent increase: Endocrinology, Hematology-oncology, Infectious disease, Otolaryngology (all tied at 23%)

Specialties expected to DECREASE in number of physicians by 2025 include:

  • (-) 37 percent: Occupational medicine
  • (-) 24 percent: Thoracic surgery
  • (-) 11 percent: Critical care medicine

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Center for Health Workforce Analysis. (2014, July). Projecting the supply of non-primary care specialty and subspecialty clinicians: 2010-2025. Retrieved from: http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/supplydemand/usworkforce/clinicalspecialties/clinicalspecialties.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

HOSPITAL COST CUTTING: Don’t cut support staff

Five mistakes managers should avoid in approaching hospital cost cutting are explored in this analysis based on research done in conjunction with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.  Tips drawn from this research indicate that managers should:

  • Hire enough support staff to allow caregivers to practice at the top of their license
  • Invest in space and equipment to allow clinicians to decrease idle time spent waiting for resources
  • Examine how individual physicians consume supplies
  • Allow physicians enough time during patient visits to counsel and teach
  • Explore benchmarks and standardization

Source: Kaplan, R.S., and Haas, D.A. (2014, November). How not to cut health care costs: the missteps that keep us paying too much for treatment. Harvard Business Review. 92(11), 116-122.  Click here for access to publisher’s website: http://hbr.org/2014/11/how-not-to-cut-health-care-costs/ar/1  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

 

 

 

FORECAST: Ambulatory surgery volume in hospitals will increase 8 to 16 percent annually 2014 to 2021

One of my favorite things to find is a forecast!  It is rare that one can find a good educated guess about the future.  This study analyzed ambulatory surgery procedure time in hospital outpatient departments versus freestanding ambulatory surgery centers.

Here is the interesting forecast:

  • “Our estimates indicated that outpatient surgical volume in hospitals alone will increase by 8-16 percent annually between 2014 and 2021, compared to annual growth rates of 1-3 percent in the previous ten years.” (pp. 767-768).

Source: Munnich, E.L., and Parente, S.T. (2014, May). Procedures take less time at ambulatory surgery centers, keeping costs down and ability to meet demand up. Health Affairs. 33(5), 764-769.  Click here for access to the publisher’s website: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/33/5/764.abstract   Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2003, rc@aha.org

 

 

Benchmarks: Hospitals’ IRS Schedule H Community Benefit Reporting

Hospitals and systems allocated 12.3% of their total expenses toward community benefit in 2011, according to a new analysis of Schedule H filings. That’s up from 11.3% in 2009. [Tax-exempt hospitals report their community benefits to the IRS in a form called Schedule H.]

Community benefit expenditures covered charity care and financial assistance for patients, bad debt, absorption of underpayments from Medicaid and Medicare programs, community and population health improvement, underwriting of medical research and health professions education, and subsidization of high cost essential health services.

Benchmark community benefit costs are presented for systems and by hospital size, type, and location. Spending percentages are broken out for types of community benefits as well. Also benchmarked are practices on threshold use of federal poverty guidelines for determining free and discounted care for patients.

Source: Ernst & Young LLP. Results from 2011 tax-exempt hospitals’ schedule H community benefit reporting. American Hospital Association, Aug. 2014. http://www.aha.org/content/14/schedhreport.pdf

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

2014 Survey of America’s Physicians: Practice Patterns and Perspectives

The Physicians Foundation is out with its latest biennial survey of physicians in the country, looking at work satisfaction, practice patterns, and other attitudes of over 20,000 survey participants. Key questions addressed in the survey include these:

  • Are they seeing more or fewer patients?
  • Do they continue to accept Medicare and Medicaid as a form of payment?
  • How do they grade the Affordable Care Act?
  • How many are part of an ACO?
  • What effect have electronic medical records had on their practice?
  • Are they independent practice owners or employees?
  • Do they plant to retire, work part-time, practice concierge medicine, seek hospital employment, or pursue some other option?

And here are some of the answers from physicians:

  • 38% do not see Medicaid patients or limit the number of Medicaid patients seen.
  • 46%  give the Affordable Care Act a failing grade.
  • 26% participate in an ACO, but only 13% think ACOs will improve quality or lower costs.
  • 85% have adopted electronic medical record,s but 46% say they detract from their efficiency.
  • 53% describe themselves as employees, up from 44% in 2012.
  • 44% plan to take steps that could impact the physician supply and patient access, such as retiring, closing their practices to new patients, cutting back on the number of patients seen, or seeking a non-clinical job.

Source: Merritt Hawkins. 2014 survey of America’s physicians: practice patterns & perspectives. Physicians Foundation, Sept. 2014. http://www.physiciansfoundation.org/uploads/default/2014_Physicians_Foundation_Biennial_Physician_Survey_Report.pdf

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

WORKFORCE TRENDS: Baby boomer RNs not retiring

The predictions that there would be a big nursing shortage due to the aging population in need of care compounded by the retirement of all those older Baby boomer nurses may have been premature.  The nursing shortage may have been pushed off a bit by the fact that older nurses are delaying their retirement, according to the findings of this study of large-scale federal employment survey data.  The authors found:

“In 2012 an employed fifty-year-old RN would be likely to work an average of 14.0 more years, whereas a comparable RN before 1990 would have been likely to work another 11.5 years.” (page 1479)

The authors note that there is a tendency for older RNs to leave hospital employment and go to work in the ambulatory care setting.  With the changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act, experienced nurses who could take on a care coordination role would be a good fit.

Source: Auerback, D.I., Buerhaus, P.I., and Staiger, D.O. (2014, August). Registered nurses are delaying retirement, a shift that has contributed to recent growth in the nurse workforce.  Health Affairs.  33(8), 1474-1480.  Click here for access to publisher’s website: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/33/8/1474.short   Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

 

 

Medicaid 30-day readmission rate averages 9.4 percent

This was an analysis of over 2.6 million hospital admissions of Medicaid beneficiaries younger than age 65 in 19 states for the year 2010 (for the most part).  The authors found overall:

“…that thirty-day readmission rates for the nineteen states that participated in our study varied from 5.5 percent to 11.9 percent, with an average of 9.4 percent.”

Among the Medicaid utilization data studied, children were found to have a lower readmission rate – 5.4 percent, compared to adults – 12.8 percent (remember that this is a non-elderly population of adults).  The authors also explored the broad diagnostic categories which had the highest readmission rates.  For children, it was “certain conditions originating in the perinatal period;” for teenagers, it was “diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs;” and for adults up to age 64, it was “mental and behavioral disorders.”

Source: Trudnak, T., Kelley, D., and others. (2014, August). Medicaid admissions and readmissions: understanding the prevalence, payment, and most common diagnoses. Health Affairs. 33(8), 1337-1344.  Click here for access to the publisher’s website: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/33/8/1337.short  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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