Workforce Briefs: November 2015

Healthcare Job Growth Hits Lofty Milestone

The past year has been nothing short of amazing for jobs in the healthcare industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted in its most recent monthly employment statistics report that healthcare has added 495,000 jobs from October 2014 to October 2015. That is the biggest 12-month job increase ever for the healthcare industry.

October was a good month in its own right. The healthcare industry added 44,900 jobs in October, after adding about 41,500 the month before, according to preliminary data from BLS. Ambulatory health centers added nearly 27,000 jobs, while hospitals added 17,800 jobs.

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Retail Clinic Partnerships Flourish

Retail clinics are partnering with hospitals and health systems at a rising rate. The number of these partnerships has more than doubled over the past year, according to a recent report from the Convenient Care Association. More than 100 systems have established a partnership or operate in tandem with retail clinics now.

The report notes that retail clinics can expand access to care for people currently without a primary care provider by offering a low-cost, walk-in option. But they can also open the door to the affiliated health system, which provides even more services, including chronic disease management and maintenance. These clinics can also save money for systems by providing after-hours care at a much lower cost than similar care provided too often in the emergency department. Retail care is providing a significant number of new opportunities for clinicians.

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Support Grows for Telehealth Across State Lines

Currently, the state medical boards in 48 states require that physicians who engage in telehealth be licensed in the state where the patient is located.

A growing number of states are embracing the practice of telehealth by their physician workforce as one response to the shortage of physicians and to bring healthcare to more people. Eleven states have passed laws to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. The compact was designed to make it easier for physicians to get a license to practice in multiple states, allowing them to practice telehealth across state lines.

Eight more state legislatures introduced legislation in support of the compact this year. One of the latest states to get on board is Wisconsin, where a bill is pending in the state Senate.

According to the Federation of State Medical Boards, a bipartisan group of 13 U.S. Senators recently declared their support for the compact. A number of major medical associations and societies also support the compact.

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Utah is Tops for Physical Therapists

Each year, PT in Motion, the magazine for members of the American Physical Therapy Association, ranks the top states in which to practice physical therapy. When analyzing each state, the APTA considers eight factors, including employment and employment projections for physical therapy, compensation and cost of living, technology and innovation, and business and practice friendliness.

And the winner for 2015 is…Utah. Again. Utah was also No. 1 in 2014 and 2013. According to the results of the rankings, Utah’s “consistently strong scores across the board” were responsible for its top rating.

This year, the second-place ranking wen to Virginia. Nebraska was very close behind in third place. Last year, Colorado and Minnesota nabbed the second and third spots, respectively. This year, Colorado was in fourth place, and Minnesota achieved fifth place.

The last-place finisher this year was Arkansas at No. 51. Preceding it at the bottom of the list were Alabama in the 47th spot, Mississippi in 48th, West Virginia 49th and Louisiana was 50th.