VITALS: July 2015

BLS Report from June Healthcare Hiring Continues to Grow

After two particularly good months in a row, healthcare hiring continued to grow in June, albeit at a slightly slower pace. Healthcare added 40,000 jobs in June after adding 47,000 jobs in May and 45,200 in April, according to the latest preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Taking a closer look at the data shows that ambulatory care services added 23,000 jobs in June while hospitals added 11,000 jobs. Nursing and residential care facilities added about 7,000 jobs.

BLS also reported that healthcare employment grew by an average of 34,000 jobs per month over the past 12 months.

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Burnout Continues to Plague Physician Workforce

A 2015 survey from Medscape found that 46% of physicians surveyed—nearly half—reported feeling burned out by their jobs. That’s up from 40% in a 2013 survey. Many pointed to culprits such as spending too much time on bureaucratic tasks, spending too much time at work and not making enough money. The report noted that being able to control work hours could help some physicians reduce their stress levels—and their burnout likelihood.

The most likely physicians to be burned out? Docs working in critical care, of whom 53% say they are burned out, followed closely by emergency department physicians at 52%. Also, women are more likely to report burn out, with 51% saying that they felt burned out compared with 43% of men.

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Interstate Compact Participants Grows

Seven states have now signed on to the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which can speed up the licensing process to help address critical physician shortages.

Many states are struggling with physician shortages in overall numbers, specialties and particularly in their rural areas. The compact was created to expedite the licensure process for physicians seeking licensure in multiple states. Instead of having to apply and go through the process in each state, the compact can provide a single process for multiple states. According to the FSMB, it would “improve licensure portability and increase patient access to care.” In particular, it could facilitate cross-border telemedicine.

In May, Alabama became the latest state to pass a law to enter into the compact; the others are Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, West Virginia and Utah. With Alabama’s decision to join the compact, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission now has the green light to get started. The commission will oversee the administration and management of the compact.

More states could join in the future, too, as the FSMB notes that nearly 20 states have considered legislation to allow their states to participate.