2020 Healthcare Trends Impacting Physician Jobs
As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and physicians remain an in-demand profession, there are a few healthcare trends that will impact physician jobs.
6 healthcare trends that will impact physician jobs include healthcare mergers and acquisitions, telemedicine, concierge practice, mobile EMRS, nurse triage services and locum tenens.
While these healthcare trends offer new opportunities for physicians to explore, it’s important for physicians to be flexible and willing to adapt to this environment/new territory for some.
Let’s take a look at the 6 healthcare trends that are impacting physician jobs in more detail.
- Healthcare Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A): Healthcare mergers and acquisitions rose 8% in 2019 with 768 transactions announced or closed in 2019, according to Hammond Hanlon Camp LLC. M&A’s tend to have a positive and negative effect on not only how physicians’ practice, but also on patients receiving care and the communities around. In the past, M&A’s have been supported due to the fact they:
- Help with efficiency.
- Lower costs.
- Increase quality of care (due medical collaboration) etc.
On the other hand, many healthcare M&As have also occurred because of the constant changes occurring in the healthcare industry (i.e. Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement/reporting, data collection, IT infrastructures required etc.) For many smaller, community-based hospitals this is financially impossible to keep up with so being merged or acquired by a larger hospital is the way to go.
On the physician side, M&A’s have an effect on how they practice because:
- Stress levels rise due to the various changes occurring in management and HR.
- Of possible physician layoffs (especially for the facility taking the subordinate role).
- Less physicians mean the delivery and availability of services to patients are no longer the same (causing physician burnout to rise).
- Physician competitiveness can occur between former and new physicians.
- Telemedicine: Telemedicine is an emerging trend that continues to grow. According to our “emerging healthcare trends & how it benefits medical organizations” blog we’ve learned that telemedicine offers patients the freedom and accessibility to receive healthcare “virtually” and from anywhere. For physicians and healthcare facilities, this means reducing healthcare costs for patients and improving patient engagement. This is a great option for “busy professionals” or patients who live in rural areas.
- Concierge Practice: Concierge practice is the perfect example of a “direct pay” model of care. Physicians have turned to concierge practice in order to avoid dealing with the requirements of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and other insurance companies. MACRA was signed into legislation in 2015 and it created the quality payment program that:
- Repeals the sustainable growth rate formula.
- Changes how Medicare rewards physicians for value over volume.
- Streamlines various quality programs under the merit-based incentive payments system (MIPS).
- Provides bonus payments for participation in eligible alternative payment models (APMs).
With this concierge model, patients pay a monthly fee regardless of whether they visit their physician or not. Physicians looking to test this model, must keep in mind that effort must be put into finding patients, running the practice and handling payments.
- Mobile EMRs: Just like the healthcare industry, technology is also an industry that constantly grows and evolves. The rise of technology globally has had huge impacts in society and businesses. For healthcare, it’s played a role in the upcoming of electronic medical records – which allow physicians and other healthcare practices to be more coordinated and run more efficiently providing a better patient experience. Here are 3 benefits of mobile EMRs:
- Physicians always have access to patient data (medical histories). In fact, they can also make updates or changes on one device and automatically that is transferred to all other devices who have access.
- Mobile EMRs can result in higher average patient satisfaction.
- Mobile EMRs allow physicians and their entire practice to better communicate. This platform guarantees each physician and/or employee can quickly pull up patient medical records, make changes or updates and more with a tab of a button.
- Nurse Triage Services: Nurse triage services have become more popular now due to the fact they’ve helped enhance physician productivity. This new model allows for physicians to work simultaneously with two clinical assistants – a registered nurse (RN) and a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Nurse triage services can be described as a call-in service run by registered nurses who:
- Conduct initial patient screenings.
- Document clinical assessments.
- Record responses given to patients during the call.
- Send patients care instructions and more.
The purpose of this model is for each of the clinical assistants to assume more responsibility for each patient they encounter, so that physicians can focus more on providing high-quality and preventative care to patients.
- Locum Tenens: The demand for locums over the last few years has continued to rise. In fact, healthcare employers (i.e. hospitals, urgent care, primary care clinics etc.) are starting to add locum tenens to their staffing and recruiting plans. Two factors that have played a role in the rise of locums are:
- Increase in Patient Volume – Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) the number of uninsured patients has dropped. Additionally, with the baby boomers aging, this has caused healthcare organizations to experience an increase in patient volume which for some has resulted in staffing challenges.
- Demand for More Physicians – With the increase in patient volume and healthcare facilities experiencing recruiting and staffing challenges, they are now more receptive to hiring locums. Locums are playing a huge role in serving patients while helping overcome recruiting and staffing challenges.
Take a look at our FREE physician jobs resource to learn more trends impacting physician jobs, the physician job outlook, tips to starting your physician job and more!