5 Key Takeaways from the 2017 Healthcare Talent Scan
As healthcare HR professionals continue to adapt to the changing workforce, they must also understand and prepare for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. “A new reality in healthcare is here,” says M. Tomás León, MBA, President and CEO at the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, American Hospital Association. “Quality, cost, equity, diversity, and community healthcare are inextricably linked. Healthcare organizations are challenged to create a high-performance organization and culturally competent workforce to meet the current healthcare needs and changing U.S. sociodemographic trends.”
The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) annual Healthcare Talent Scan presents healthcare HR leaders a snapshot of America’s healthcare employment landscape—how it’s changed in the past year, and how you can expect it to change in the future. This year, the report offers invaluable insight from leading industry experts on some of today’s trending topics such as the growing demand of telemedicine; the rise of consumerism in hospitals; and how behavioral health will play a key role in wellness programs.
As you plan for tomorrow, I hope the following findings from AHA’s latest Talent Scan will help you steer your healthcare organization toward success through 2017 and beyond.
1. Primary Care
The shortage in physicians will continue to rise and create a variety of challenges for primary care practices over the next few years. According to one study, the growing demand will lead to a projected total physician shortfall of between 62,000 and 94,700 physicians by 2025. Due to this deficit, other care providers will be confronted with new tasks and must gain a better understanding of patients and their specific needs. For example, it will be difficult for the short supply of physicians to keep track of consumers’ medical, social and behavioral health needs on their own; the responsibilities will need to spread across all teams.
Moreover, earlier this year, MACRA initiated a new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which requires physicians to follow a different set of standards that determines their payment adjustments. These include quality, resource use, and advancing care information—as well as clinical practice improvement activities, a new category designed to measure performance more accurately.
Today, 64 percent of Americans stated they would prefer to have doctor visits via video. This rising demand has prompted Congress to introduce over 200 pieces of telemedicine legislation across 42 states in the last two years. Currently, 29 states as well as the District of Columbia have made it a legal requirement for health plans to cover telemedicine.
For employers, nearly 3 out of 4 companies now offer telemedicine services as an employee benefit in hopes to attract and retain top talent. This includes the 35 percent of employers that offer telemedicine services onsite, which is expected to surpass 47 percent in the next year. Altogether, the global telemedicine market is expected to double from 2014 to 2020.
3. Behavioral Health
There is no doubt that there’s a strong link between behavioral health and readmission rates. When patients’ behavioral health needs are met, they’re more capable of managing their own illnesses and avoiding readmissions—helping the bottom line. As a result, many healthcare leaders believe hospitals will begin including behavioral medicine as a key component to their overall health and wellness programs.
However, in order to advance population health, more hospitals will need to build partnerships with their surrounding communities. Most organizations agree that gaining buy-in from local leaders will be beneficial in helping patients and their families adopt healthier lifestyles.
Now that experts have seen a strong parallel between customer satisfaction and hospital performance, there will be a greater emphasis on consumerism moving forward. Top executives will begin making greater strides in developing consumer-centric strategies, which begins with hiring and retaining top talent. However, experts recommend hospitals to start small—start with general data audits, before tackling one or multiple initiatives at once. This will not only help you to avoid spreading resources too thin, but it will also help ensure that any lessons learned along the way can be applied to future initiatives.
5. Care Coordination
Though specialized care and hyper-focused approaches have led to important medical breakthroughs, they have also created silos across departments that limit caregiver interaction and care collaboration. In order to change this mindset, colleges and medical training institutes are revamping their learning programs to teach the importance of team functioning and collaborative care. Researchers found that these institutions will offer some combination of classes in the following six areas:
- Role Overlap
- Confliction Resolution
How is your healthcare organization preparing for the challenges of today and tomorrow? We’d love to hear from you.