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US – Reform to Bolster Healthcare Staffing Demand

January 08 2013

Greater demand under healthcare reform and an aging population along with a constrained talent supply are creating a “perfect storm” for a labor shortage in healthcare, according to a new report by Staffing Industry Analysts.

Healthcare reform is expected to add millions of customers to the U.S. healthcare system. In addition, the aging population will help prop up demand as age generally requires more healthcare services. However, demand could be moderated by a more efficient healthcare system with less fee-for-service medicine and more quality-based care.

Skill shortages are already being seen in some occupations such as radiation, recreational and occupational therapists as well as physicians and dentists. The unemployment rate for all these occupations was below 1.0 percent in 2011, a year when the overall unemployment rate was above 8.0 percent.

The report, the “2013 Growth Assessment: Healthcare Staffing,” estimates that healthcare staffing revenue is poised to grow at 8 percent this year.

However, Tony Gregoire, senior research analyst at Staffing Industry Analysts, notes some downside risk to the projection.

“Our projection assumes no Medicare sequestration,” Gregoire said. “If Medicare sequestration from the Budget Control Act goes into effect, it could temporarily reduce demand for healthcare staffing.” Medicare sequestration was delayed until March under the American Taxpayer Relief Act as part of the “fiscal cliff” deal.

For more information on reports by Staffing Industry Analysts, please go to www.staffingindustry.com. Corporate members of Staffing Industry Analysts can access the full version of this report by clicking here.

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